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

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?

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  1. 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

      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

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

        1. re: TorontoJo

          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

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


        1 Reply
        1. re: chloe103

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


            1. 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. 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

                  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

                    On Breakfast TV this morning they were picking strawberries at whitmores

                    1. re: smr714

                      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:

                      1. re: shana

                        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.


                        1. re: berbere

                          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

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

                            2. re: berbere

                              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

                                Went to Applewood last Saturday and the berries were huge!

                    2. 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

                        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

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

                            1. re: pastina

                              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

                              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

                                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

                              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.


                            4. 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

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