The sweet and spicy smells of fall are approaching – by this point, you’re probably dreaming of crunching leaves, big cozy sweaters, hot coffee, rubber boots, homemade soup and crisp, fresh, Ontario apples.
The season is upon us and it’s time to get ready to explore the apple orchards in the region. Would you like to go for a country drive, pick up some homemade pies or pick your own apples? Below is a list of places in the BoQ where you can do all of the above.
Remember to call ahead and and learn about the safety protocols in place for each place listed.
Pop in to appreciate the local produce and homemade treats or spend the day picking that perfect apple with the family. Check out the websites or social media pages linked below to plan your day; apple orchards typically operate seasonally, so they open to the public on certain dates.
886 Grills Rd, Quinte West
Grills Orchards is a short drive just outside of the Belleville core. They grow and sell fifteen of the most popular Ontario apples. While pick-your-own is not an option this year for safety reasons all varieties are available in the market store. Ask Diana, the owner of the orchard, about the best apples for baking, cooking and eating.
They also bake their own bread and pies each day and make mouth-watering fudge. On top of their own homemade products, they also sell local meats, cheese, honey, vegetables, ice cream, maple syrup, baked goods, jams and jellies (with sugar-free options available).
Campbell’s Orchard & Country Market
1633 County Rd 3, Prince Edward County
Campbell’s Orchards is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! With their beautiful property, dogs, cats, and chickens running around (try to spot the sheep too), a corn maze, Apple Falls Cider, and an abundance of homegrown food available to pick or purchase, you can easily spend an entire day with the family here. They’re open all year and their products change with the season.
143 Dundas St, Brighton
The orchard is located just outside of Brighton and has over 100 acres filled with stunning apple trees. Pick your own or purchase Ontario apples, as well as other products like asparagus, tart cherries, raspberries, honey, apple cider and maple syrup. This spot is quiet, quaint and full of friendly staff and visitors.
14953 County 2 Rd, Brighton
Cricklewood Farm has been my go-to place since I could walk and hold an apple. They’ve grown a lot since then, now offering pick-your-own for 60 different apples, raspberry picking and pumpkin picking! They also have over six acres of corn mazes, a full playground for the kids and guided tours to learn more about the variety of apples on the property.
Like every orchard, you can’t leave without buying a local pie or snack. They sell their own apples, corn, raspberries (frozen and fresh depending on the season), pumpkins and squashes, baked goods, sparkling cider and jams.
How do you like them apples? Choose from homegrown and homemade apple sauce, apple fritters, apple crisps, apple pies, apple juice, apple cider, wildflowers, garden vegetables, chocolate, fudge, cheese, cookies, muffins, frozen fruit and even more pies. Need I say more?
Apple Gates Orchard
728 Stockdale Rd, Quinte West
Apple Gates Orchard is a small family-owned and -operated orchard. They have been growing, picking and selling an array of Ontario apples since 1974. Their products are available for purchase at the farm gate and the Front Street Farmers’ Market in Quinte West.
365 Main St, Brighton
Cheer Farms is arguably the cutest roadside market in the region. The business is family owned and operated with the husband and wife team, Dave and Lorraine, holding the reins.
If they don’t grow it, they will be sure to bring it in from another local Ontario farmer/producer. In the little market, you will find homemade baked goods for sale as well as plenty of apples, strawberries, onions, potatoes, beets, corn and fruit baskets.