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pick your own strawberries near GTA? where and are they ready yet?

shana Jun 13, 2008 09:26 AM

I think I want to try and make jam - scary - where are pick your own berry places in the GTA? I'm looking for something close enough for an afternoon outing with a Zipcar.

Also this might be a really stupid question but are the berries ready yet? If not any idea when they will be?

  1. p
    pearlD Jun 13, 2008 11:27 AM

    I haven't seen 'local' ones as yet but that's because my supermarket is very slow to get them in (and even at that, they have a poor 'shelf life' so most big supermarkets take few in quantity)
    I do pick your own (only rasberries) but they also have strawberries at Whittamore's...they are near the Toronto Zoo but your zip car should be able to do that trip..Call Whitamore's or go online...their telephone message is excellent and always up to date...
    905;294-3275 www.whittamoresfarms.com (not sure about this site)

    4 Replies
    1. re: pearlD
      m
      millygirl Jun 13, 2008 11:37 AM

      They had local strawberries at the East Lynn market yesterday, and they are wonderfully sweet. Even saw some for sale at SunValley today, which is unusual for them.

      1. re: pearlD
        TorontoJo Jun 15, 2008 03:51 PM

        I just bought some local strawberries from the Niagara region at Longo's today. They were wonderful!

        1. re: TorontoJo
          t
          tarteaucitron Jun 16, 2008 04:52 AM

          May I ask, which Longo's, if not all of them (I only have easy access to the ones in Markham and Thornhill)?

          BTW, this thread gives me a strong yearning for the "real" berries -- the small strawberries that can almost be described as tasting floral (I had some in the past from a friend's backyard in Toronto), and the tiny blueberries from Quebec that, again, tastes of a certain kind of perfume I cannot capture with words.

          1. re: tarteaucitron
            TorontoJo Jun 16, 2008 05:32 AM

            It was the one at York Mills and Leslie. They were wonderful -- small, juicy, actually tasting of strawberries. And they were red and juicy all the way through -- not like those giant abominations that are white and dry inside.

            I would imagine that all Longo's would have them, though.

            The sad thing is that they were displayed right next to the monsters from
            California. The local berries were in a cardboard box, not plastic.

      2. chloe103 Jun 15, 2008 03:36 PM

        And a related question... does anybody know of any *organic* pick your own within a reasonable drive of the GTA?

        thanks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: chloe103
          grandgourmand Jun 16, 2008 05:58 AM

          that link that Marniee posted below has one on it from Markham.

          Although it's not totally organic, I don't think most local producers spray their berries. At least the ones i've bought from.

          And FYI, was in the haldimand norfolk region this weekend. A few roadside stands out selling berries. A big step up from California berries, in terms of flavour, but we're still not at peak sweetness.

        2. Recyclor Jun 15, 2008 04:06 PM

          My nieghbour just came by and shared some beautiful strawberries he got at the liberty village farmers market this weekend, smallish, slightly tart and full of fresh berry flavour, unlike those huge, firm, flavourless supermarket ones...

          1. m
            Marniee Jun 15, 2008 04:35 PM

            It appears that they will be ready for picking beginning this Wednesday. Check here:

            http://www.pickyourown.org/catoronto.htm

            1. j
              JesseJensen Jun 16, 2008 05:04 AM

              http://www.applewoodfarmwinery.com/
              Applewood farms is great for Strawberries or Apples and as a bonus they have
              tasting bar with some of the most delicious fruit wines I have ever tasted.

              1. The Chowhound Team Jun 17, 2008 08:24 AM

                Some discussion of making your own jam has been moved over to our Home Cooking boards so all hounds can participate. You can follow that part of the conversation here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/52986...

                9 Replies
                1. re: The Chowhound Team
                  a
                  ajenkins Jun 17, 2008 08:32 AM

                  In the Markham area, Reesor Farm Market on Ninth Line north of Highway 7 is open for the season and its website says strawberries are available: http://www.reesorfarm.com/

                  1. re: ajenkins
                    s
                    smr714 Jun 17, 2008 10:26 AM

                    On Breakfast TV this morning they were picking strawberries at whitmores

                    1. re: smr714
                      shana Jun 25, 2008 09:37 AM

                      Hi everyone - just an update we went berry picking at Organics at 7550 19th Avenue in Markham.

                      It was very good - the staff helpful and the berries delicious!

                      They have a website:
                      http://www.organicsfarm.ca/

                      1. re: shana
                        b
                        berbere Jun 25, 2008 09:48 AM

                        shana, was the farm very big? I've only been to Whittamore's in the past and they are now a very large operation, meaning we have to drive in quite a bit and then walk a long ways to our 'assigned' rows.

                        tia!

                        1. re: berbere
                          chloe103 Jun 25, 2008 10:25 AM

                          I was at that farm this past weekend too! The berries were fantastic, and at $15/8L bucket (8L is just over 7 quarts), absurdly affordable.

                          Berbere, they are very organized. There's a tractor ride right to the centre of the strawberry patch, and the rows are all quite nicely scaled.

                          1. re: chloe103
                            b
                            berbere Jun 25, 2008 07:40 PM

                            thanks chloe!

                            1. re: chloe103
                              gnuf Jun 26, 2008 07:00 PM

                              Really!? I went to Whittamores Farm last weekend and paid $30 for an 11L bucket!

                            2. re: berbere
                              jennjen18 Jun 25, 2008 06:25 PM

                              My friend was just there last weekend, and she shared with us what she picked. They were indeed small, but very poorly shaped due to the hail that we have had these past couple of days! In any case, they were small and delicate, and smelled really nice too.

                              1. re: jennjen18
                                j
                                JesseJensen Jun 25, 2008 07:45 PM

                                Went to Applewood last Saturday and the berries were huge!

                    2. h
                      hoagy294 Jun 26, 2008 10:21 AM

                      We went to Whittamore's last Saturday and I can't say I was blown away. The strawberries at the East Lynn market were tastier and smelled a lot better.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: hoagy294
                        f
                        foodie_guru Jun 27, 2008 06:18 AM

                        I found wonderful strawberries at "The Farm" - Halton Hills, Trafalgar Road north of 401 to 15th Sideroad. They are absolutely perfect. Bright red, right up to under the stem and right through. They also have delicious rhubarb and tons of garlic scapes. I brought some home last night and they were great.

                        1. re: foodie_guru
                          b
                          berbere Jun 12, 2009 09:35 AM

                          has anyone gone strawberry picking yet this year? looking for not-too-commercialized pick your own farms in niagara-toronto area...tia

                          1. re: berbere
                            p
                            pastina Jun 13, 2009 04:13 PM

                            Try this list:

                            http://www.niagaragreenbelt.com/All-L...

                            1. re: pastina
                              domesticgodess Jun 14, 2009 05:24 PM

                              strawberries arent ready yet. I checked out the whittamores website and it says that strawberries will be ready between june 20 and 24th. Its always best to call their hotline.
                              Ive been going there for the last 10 years and have always been happy.

                            2. re: berbere
                              chloe103 Jul 1, 2009 08:00 AM

                              I went the weekend of the 20th, and it was fairly disappointing. Based on what I've seen at the farmers' markets since then (Riverdale, Dufferin Grove, etc.) things haven't improved - the farmers are all saying this has just been a bad year for them. Not enough sun.

                              1. re: berbere
                                e
                                elrik Jul 2, 2009 06:09 AM

                                We went for Canada Day (as family tradition dictates) to Reesor's farm up on 9th between stoufville and markham and the berries were plentiful, fragrant and tasty. It's very nice for not being overly commercialized. We tried Whittamores last year and that was our biggest complaint, we felt they micromanaged our picking as much as they did that of their immigrant workers! Reesor's has much more of a family run farm feel. Our main fav is Downey's out in caledonia, but living in southeast scarborough, it's getting harder to justify driving all that way when we can just head a little bit north and get berries of the same quality.

                            3. re: hoagy294
                              m
                              mauzi Jan 21, 2010 12:37 PM

                              is it right on Trafalgar Road and 15th Side road or you have to go left or right???? I know there is a farm that sells fresh veggies at 15th side, I believe west of railway line.

                              thanks

                            4. h
                              Happy Harvester Jun 14, 2009 09:16 PM

                              As of June 14, there are some local berries around. The weather has delayed most by about a week. The best places to get them are either at a farmers' market or directly at the farm-gate. There are over 450 Ontario pick-your-own farms/roadside markets listed at www.harvestcanada.com.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Happy Harvester
                                atomeyes Jul 2, 2009 11:56 AM

                                from what i understand, raspberries may be ready in 1-2 weeks

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