The Great Pumpkin Preview

Though we may not want to admit it yet, autumn really is on it’s way. A�The temperatures drop, as do the strained branches of apple trees heavy with fruit. A�It’s an iconic time of year in Ontario. A� It’s also the start of pumpkin season!

Common Ontario varieties of pumpkin have silly names likeA�Funny Face,A�Jackpot Hybrid,A�Trick or TreatA�andA�Bushkin; while other varieties such asA�Small Sugar,A�SpookyA�andA�Early Cheyenne PieA�are also widely grown and best used for cooking.

Ontario Pumpkins

Hit the patch running starting in the last days of September all through October with one of the dozens of province-wide pumpkin experiences. A�Not sure where to start? A�Here’s a taste:

Springridge Farm, an agricultural tourism destination focused on excellence in fruit farming and family fun, invites you to celebrate this season�s pumpkin harvest. Their annual Harvest Festival will take place everyA�weekendA�beginningA�September 21A�through toA�October 27, including Thanksgiving Monday. A�This year�s festival is kicking off with a special event with Food Network Canada celebrity chef,A�Michael Smith. OnA�Saturday, September 21 from 2-4pmA�Michael Smith will be at the farm for an exclusive meet & greet and signing in celebration of the release of his new cookbookA�Back to Basics 100 Simple Classic Recipes with a Twist.

Springridge Farm is also a leading participant on Halton Region�s inauguralA�Pumpkin Trail launching October 6th.A� Local businesses, farms and attractions in the region are participating in a self-guided agricultural adventure celebrating all things autumn!

Crazy about corn mazes? A�This is your time to shine! A�Mazes of maize like Downey’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch are a fun adventure with the young ones, while a wagon ride is essential for any new to the farm experience.

You can pick-your-own pumpkins at dozens of locations including Chappell Farms near Barrie and Nauman’s FarmA�near Waterloo. A�Want even more Pumpkin in your life? A�Check out this list on patches across the province.

Regular old, orange pumpkins not enough? A�Strom’s Farm near Guelph, has more than 10 different varieties for sale. A�It’s a pumpkin lovers paradise! Big kids can test their aim in the Pumpkin Chuckin’ area, while the little ones can go hog wild in the Straw Shack. On top of that, every year they fill their front yard with over 6,000 pumpkins, so there’s no missing them!

For our Northern pumpkins patch perusers,A�Gammondale Farm in Thunder Bay,A�has friendly farm animals in the barn–You can even take one of Gammondale’s huge Percheron draft horses out for a ride! A�Plus, those of us needing a head start in burning off the post-Halloween pounds, November 1 is Pumpkin Smashing Day at the farm.

For those of you not into traipsing through the hay, you can enjoy Ontario pumpkins in your lattes, pickled to perfection or even whipped up into a triffle!A� Residents of Harbord Village can also take their pumpkin-love to the streets come November 1st at Pumpkin Fest with theA�hunt for the best-looking Jack-o’-lanterns.

Whether you’re upholding a long-standingA�family tradition,A�starting a new one, or just plain-old obsessed with all things pumpkin, A�visit to the local pumpkin patch for a true taste of place this fall.

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