The arrival of apple season in Ontario is serious cause to celebrate. Suddenly, window sills are laden with pies, new ciders start brewing and that tell-tale crunch can be heard from a mile away.
We grow so many varieties of apples in Ontario, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Not sure where to start? There’s always the classic Macintosh – fresh, slightly sour with a decent crunch; the crowd pleasing Gala – large, rarely mealy with a fruit forward sweetness; or our current favorite, the Ginger Gold. These little green beauties are a cross between the Golden Delicious and Albemarle Pippin. They taste like little balls of heaven.
You might not be able to find most of the celebrated apple varieties in your local grocer, but that’s just one more reason to head to the country for some good ol’ fashioned apple picking.
Picking your own apples means getting the freshest, crispest fruit. It’s a great way to stock up (and save some dollars) if you’re planning on preserving on baking with apples this season. Most importantly though, it’s a way for you and your family to engage with your farmers and the source of your food.
Here are our favorite apple-picking-places, this season, in Ontario — and why!
Spirit Tree Orchard & Cidery
1137 Boston Mills Rd., Caledon, ON
Varieties on offer: Mcintosh, Cortland, Gala, Honeycrisp, Empire, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Ida Red
BONUS: They make seriously delicious cider — some of the best in Ontario. The sipping room on site offers flights, delicious bites and fresh bread made with locally grown Red Fife grain.
T&K Ferri Orchards
496415 Grey Road 2, Clarksburg, ON
Varieties on offer: Ambrosia, Gala, McInstosh, Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious Mutsu, Cortland
BONUS: As a proud partner of the Apple Pie Trail, you know there’s going to be some amazing pie in the orchard shop. They’ve also got pressed cider, honey and other locally grown goodies.
9528 Regional Road 25, Halton Hills, On
Varieties on offer: Tydeman’s, Sunrise, Gingergold, Wealthy, Macintosh, Silken, Gala, Cortland, Mini Kerr’s, Empire, Honeycrisp, Cox Orange, Red Delicious, Northern Spy, Russet, Golden Delicious, Creston, Snow, Tolman Sweet, Ambrosia, Mutsu, Fuji, Granny Smith
BONUS: This is a wonderland for children. There are baby farm animals, tractor rides, and all sorts of farm theme amusements on site. Most days they’re also grilling sausages and serving their famous ‘Apple Blossom’ pasteries.
For more farm fresh tips and pick your own experiences, check Ontario Farm Fresh.