By: Monica Kucharski
We’re not talking here about those more commonplace farmers’ markets where you can basically just buy produce directly from the growers.
We’re talking here about farmers’ markets that can literally transport your family to life on the farm during one the most important seasons for farming: the fall.
And you don’t have to drive far out of Mississauga let your kids (and maybe you too) get a bushelful of country fun.
13682 Heart Lake Rd, Caledon
Literally minutes (21 to be exact) from Mississauga’s centrally located Square One, Downey’s Farm is a virtual kids’ farm paradise. It offers ton of fall fun such as pick-your-own pumpkins, wagon rides, farm animals, live entertainment, an 8-acre corn maze and much more! And the farm’s winery with complimentary glasses of wine just may make Downey’s the parents’ paradise as well!
7388 Guelph line, RR#3, Campbellville
Half an hour from Square One, Stonehaven Farms offers “pick-your-own” seasonal fruit and vegetables along with plenty of activities for the kids. They can play in a huge covered sandbox, explore the corn maze, take wagon rides or release their energies climbing on various straw piles. (That last feature alone may be worth the drive to Campbellville!)
Andrews Scenic Acres
9365 10 Side Rd, Milton
Also half an hour from Square One, Andrews Scenic Acres offers good ole country fun for the whole family. The kids can enjoy tractor rides, hay, pumpkins, haunted forest, bunnies, while parents can check out Andrews’ Winery which produces fruit wines from fruit grown on the farm (and possibly get some samples!).
The Apple Factory Farm Market
10024 Mississauga Rd, Brampton
Next door to Mississauga, The Apple Factory Farm Market is unique. It not only offers “pick-your-own” apples—a traditional family activity in the fall—but it has aisles full of food, produce, meat, dairy, preserves, candies, chips, crafts and giftware items. But most importantly, The Apple Factory Farm is where you can totally gorge on delicious home-baked goods!
The Backyard Market Farm At Erin Mills
2475 Eglinton Ave. West, Mississauga
And now for something a little different and closer to home. The Backyard Farm & Market was established in 2016 as a not-for-profit organization where volunteers help people have access to healthy food. You can check out the farm’s raised beds in straw bales, a wetland, an herb spiral, pollinator beds, natural sand box and a living willow dome. The volunteers also hold story telling circles to engage kids (and adults) in farming lore.
Port Credit Farmers Market
Corner of Lakeshore Road East and Elmwood Ave., Port Credit
Another farmer’s market closer to home is the Port Credit Farmers Market. Open every Saturday morning from June 9th to October 6th 2018, the market offers fresh local produce straight from the grower as well as honey, eggs, maple syrup, sauces, and more. But, it also offers weekly live music, demonstrations, visiting artisans and drop-in crafts for the kids.
Fall is the season when farmers’ markets are rife with activity and gorgeous, straight-from-the-farm produce. But many also offer much more—bonding family time, an appreciation for the importance of farming and healthy food, and, yes— unforgettable memories!