09.15.2014
By Terry Flanagan

Take Your Pick

By Shannon Ostrowsky, Markets Media Correspondent

It’s about that time of year when we start to get way too excited to break out our sweaters and mildly consider that the holidays are just around the corner. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, apple picking is at its peak and an afternoon out in the orchards plucking fresh, juicy apples with friends and family is no better way to welcome the fall season. If in need of a slight change in scenery and want to head up north for a little vacay, our friends in Ontario have quite a selection of bountiful orchards and other autumn traditions suitable for the whole family.

Albion Orchards (14800 Innis Lake Road, Caledon, Ontario, 905-584-0354, albionorchards.com) is famous for their Paula Red apples and keeps the festive seasons lively with their apple, pumpkin and Christmas tree picking. With cider demonstrations, a quant country store (with a yummy pie selection), and a top 4 orchard in Canada according to Chatelaine Magazine, there really is a lot to pick from.

Albion Orchards

Image via Albion Orchards

Apples and wine. That’s what I’m talking about. Applewood Farm & Winery (12416 McCowan Road, Stouffville, Ontario, 905-642-4720, applewoodfarmwinery.com) provides the perfect atmosphere for anyone who wants to spend the afternoon apple picking (they also offer strawberry picking in the summer) or browse through the selection of award-winning wines. An afternoon of apple picking, wine sampling and unique gift selections? Are we there yet?

With 80 acres of apple and pear trees, Orchard Home Farm (235 Howell Road,
St. George, Ontario, 519-448-1111, orchardhomefarm.com) really does feel like home with friendly staff and mouthwatering sweets like caramel sauce, maple syrup and an onsite bakery. You also have the option to select from the ready-picked apples at the farm market if pressed for time.

Thiessen Apple Orchards

Image via Thiessen Apple Orchards

Apple picking is fun. But so is a corn maze, hay rides and face painting for your kids (or you!). Thiessen Orchards’ (400 Talbot Road East, Leamington, Ontario, 519-326-5285, thiessenorchards.com) rustic feel and “kountry kitchen” makes a day of apple picking as sweet as apple pie (and pumpkin pie when you’re ready to get your carve on).

Living in an environmentally-friendly environment is important, including to those at Wagner Orchards & Estate Winery (1222 Concession 8 West Lakeshore Road 103, Lakeshore, Ontario, 519-723-4807, wagnerorchards.com). They also sell naturally raised meats, homemade wine and desserts made from old family recipes, which makes apple picking only the beginning of a glorious fall afternoon.

Featured image via Flickr/ Jeff Kubina under creative commons

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