Much of the GTA got its first taste of winter this week with cold temperatures and a light dusting of snow. The frost hasn't affected the apple crop and we are still picking many varieties. As the season winds down, we hope to get as many apples off the trees as we can and expect our committed customers to be out in full force this weekend! Here's a guide to what's picking this weekend:
The last vestiges of summer are fading away and autumn is in the air. As the days get shorter and the cooler, nothing completes the feeling of fall like a visit to the orchard. Take a drive along a country road and soak in the vibrant colours of the changing leaves. Stop by Nature's Bounty for the season's best apples, a cup of warm cider and enjoy the crisp fresh air before the moment passes. There is plenty left to pick this weekend, including a few of our favourites:
Thanksgiving just wouldn't be complete without a trip to the orchard. That's why we are open all three days of the long weekend! At Nature's Bounty, we love that so many families make apple picking a part of their annual fall tradition. This week and weekend offers some of the best selection for apples and pumpkins as nearly everything is ready for picking. Check out the list below for some of the top picks for this weekend.
It's that time of the season when so many incredible varieties are available, it's hard to choose which apples to take home. You may be looking for a sweet, juicy eating apple or something tart and firm. If you're planning on baking your Thanksgiving pies, you may want a variety with a balance of flavour but a texture that holds up in the oven. Here's a guide to what's picking at Nature's Bounty and our recommended uses:
As the season progresses, some varieties finish and give way to others. Those who fell in love with Ginger Gold and Wealthy may find a few left in the trees but both varieties have been thoroughly picked. Not to worry; we have a few new additions to the picking list. Here's a look at what will be ready for this coming weekend:
Keep an eye out for updates on Macoun and Empire as they will be ready soon!
Arguably the season's most anticipated apple, Honeycrisp are finally ready at Nature's Bounty. This year's Honeycrisp have grown to a large size and are full of juice thanks to the summer rains. The many hot, sunny days helped the apples develop great flavour and lots of sugar, and a few chilly nights have turned the skins a vibrant red. After testing today, these beauties are ready for picking!
We are often asked why Honeycrisp are more expensive than other common varieties like McIntosh or Gala. The answer is that they are more difficult to grow! Honeycrisp trees are inherently less sturdy than other trees and must be supported by a trellis system to hold the weight of the branches. As the fruit matures, it must be aggressively thinned to prevent the tree from overproducing. This process requires many extra hours of manual labour. Finally, Honeycrisp are chalk-full of vitamins and minerals, but the trees have difficulty extracting them from the soil so growers must supplement the trees with calcium, magnesium and copper; another added cost.
In the end, it's hard to beat the crunch, taste and juice that the Honeycrisp offers, which make them satisfying to grow despite the extra costs and labour. We know that many people look forward to Honeycrisp picking each fall so we strive to maintain our supply by planting new trees every few years. We do hope to see you at the orchard this weekend and next while Honeycrisp are at their peak of ripeness.
If you didn't make it out to the orchard for opening weekend, there is still plenty of time to visit this season, and more varieties available every week. Here's a look at what will be ready this weekend:
This summer, we've seen plenty of sunshine and ample rainfall so our trees are weighed down with a healthy crop. As our first weekend of the season approaches, here is an update on current picking and upcoming varieties.
It's been a busy summer at Nature's Bounty, to say the least. In addition to managing a healthy looking crop of apples, the crew has been busy pruning, installing new trellis wire, preparing the pumpkin patch and cutting hay. Before we know it, the fall picking season will be upon us and we'll welcome many of you to the orchard.
Thanks to the hot weather and recent rains, the apple crop is growing rapidly. Some early varieties like Ginger Gold and Earligold will be ready by the end of August with more ripening by the week. Make sure to check our home page or subscribe to our newsletter for the most up-to-date list of available varieties!
We've also been getting ready for our upcoming Dinner in the Orchard event; a first for us. A group of guests will gather in the orchard to enjoy a delicious dinner at our harvest table. Chef Kevin Brown has prepared a menu that will feature our own lamb and apples, as well as seasonal produce from our friends at Willowtree Farms. Craft beer lovers will savour five expertly paired brews from The Second Wedge Brewing Co. in Uxbridge. It's shaping a truly magical evening at the farm. If you'd like to learn more about the event or reserve tickets, visit our events page.
A Magical Evening on The Farm
The end of summer always brings with it an abundance of produce, cool, cozy nights and of course, the first fresh apples of the season. That's why we're so excited to announce our first-ever Dinner in the Orchard on Sunday, August 26, to kick off the harvest! We've teamed up with Chef Kevin Brown of KB and The Second Wedge Brewing Co. to bring you an evening filled with fresh local food, delicious craft beer pairings, a first taste of our fall crop, wagon ride and and orchard walk.
Guests will enjoy a wagon ride out to the dining area and be greeted with tasty appetizers and the first of five craft beer tastings. Before dinner is served, a short walking tour of the orchard will help you work up an appetite for the four-course meal that awaits you at our 60' harvest table. The menu will feature freshly harvested, local produce from our friends at Willowtree Farm and lamb which is raised right here at Nature's Bounty. The Second Wedge will be on hand to pour some of their popular beer, expertly paired to complement each course. Naturally, everyone will have a chance to pick apples and take home a first taste of our bountiful harvest.
Location: Our harvest table is set in the heart of our orchard where the smell of ripening apples and quite ambiance will the mood for an intimate evening. Guests will park near the main farm gate and be ferried to and from by tractor and wagon. The address is 651 Scugog Line 2, Port Perry.
Menu: The menu has been designed by local chef and restaurant owner, Kevin Brown, and will feature local produce picked at its peak as well as our own lamb. A vegetarian option is available but should be noted prior to the event.
Tickets: Tickets for this exclusive event are $100/person and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All tickets must be reserved prior to the event and can be paid for in advance or upon arrival.
Inclement Weather: This event is rain or shine! Should we encounter poor weather, the dinner will be moved to a covered area next to the orchard.