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A Guide To Apple Season In South Georgian Bay

Just like that it is already September! Summer flew by and now we are excited for fall, and all the fun activities that come along with it (one of those things being apple season)! Apple season in South Georgian Bay is a huge deal as we are the apple capital and home of the Apple Pie Trail, with 26 different stops that you can explore and enjoy with the whole family! You could call South Georgian Bay the core of apple country because our apples are plentiful, juicy, and delicious.

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Apple Country

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As South Georgian Bay is a part of the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment, it provides the perfect microclimate for apple growing! The large, deep bodies of water we have here have a moderating effect on the surrounding temperature, resulting in slow changes to air temperature. The cliffs and hills of the Escarpment act as a protective boundary that confines the lake-warmed air along the shoreline. This creates a microclimate with a reduced chance of late spring or early autumn frosts. The most common apple varieties grown in Ontario include McIntosh, Empire and Red Delicious, although more than 20 different varieties are grown. Some of South Georgian Bay’s signature Apple varieties include; Honeycrisp, Red Prince, Ambrosia, Gala, McIntosh, Cortland, Mutsu, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Paula Red, plus many more! We have apples for all types of apple lovers, sweet or tart we have it all! Below we have outlined some of our amazing apple orchards and farms that offer pre-picked and you-pick apples so you can be ready to kick-start fall the South Georgian Bay way!

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TK Ferri Orchards

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Located in the quaint and artsy town of Clarksburg, is TK Ferri Orchards. TK Ferri Orchards is an award winning, internationally recognized orchard featuring hand-picked apples & Grandad Jack’s apple cider. Visitors are encouraged to shop in their in-store market where they sell a variety of different freshly grown apples and produce. Some of the apple varieties grown directly on site include Ambrosia, Gala, Macintosh, Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, and Cortland. TK Ferri Orchards is only offering pre-pick apples for purchase at this time and apple availability is dependent on when the apples have reached their peak flavor. As we quickly head into the fall season, come on down to TK Ferri Orchards, an orchard like no other in Ontario. These apples are larger and tastier than any apples you’ve experienced before. On 22 acres of orchard, they have upwards of 58,000 trees!

The Farmer’s Pantry

The Farmer’s Pantry in the Blue Mountains, Ontario has U-pick in-season raspberries, pears and pumpkins, plus acre upon acre of U-pick apples. Kids can run freely through the farmer’s fun fields, challenging themselves to rope and cedar mazes, sand mountains, or meeting the barnyard crew while you shop in the farm market.

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Kennedy Orchards

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Kennedy Orchards is a family-run farm located in the heart of Nottawa, just 10 minutes South of Collingwood off of Highway 124. The farm was originally established as a conventionally grown orchard, but began its transition to Organic in 2015. The orchard sits on 10 beautiful acres where the apple varieties include Empire, Macintosh and Red Delicious. Kennedy Orchards is not currently offering U-pick apples at this time, but can be found at various farmers markets in South Georgian Bay during apple season for pre-pick purchases. The friendly staff at Kennedy Orchards can’t wait to see you this Fall so be sure to check their page for an official opening date.

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McEachran & Sons Orchards

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McEachran & Sons Orchards is a family run farm that is located in the small town of Duntroon. They are best known for their freshly grown apples that are available for both U-pick and store-front purchase. The apple varieties they offer include Macintosh, Spartan, Red Delicious. They also offer freshly pressed cider that is done on site.  The orchard operates seasonally so be sure to check their page for an opening date.

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Giffen’s Country Market

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Located in the quiet picturesque hamlet of Glen Huron is Giffen’s Country Market. Giffen’s is famous for its pies, tarts, apples and apple cider. Frank and Eileen Giffen started growing apples on 5 acres in 1939. The orchards have grown to over 120 acres today with varieties including the popular Honey Crisp, Macintosh, Gala and Ambrosia. With their cold-storage facilities, the apples are available year-round with a fresh picked-off-the-tree flavor and crispness. Visit Giffen’s this fall to pick-your-own apples and browse through the country market where you will find a variety of fresh and delicious products that are homemade in store with lots of love!

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Goldsmith’s Orchard Market

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Goldsmith’s market has a long-standing history in the Georgian Bay and Grey County Area. Beginning as a popular roadside fruit-stand in the 1960s, Goldsmith’s was purchased by the Oakley family in 2013. Brad and Teresa Oakley began their farming career as apple farmers in the Beaver Valley in the late 1980s. Their son Kyle, returned home from university in 2010, and together the family opened their first roadside stand in Thornbury. After a very successful three years, the Oakley’s had bigger dreams for their family farm and market so they purchased Goldsmith’s in 2013. In the last seven years, the Oakley family has made their dreams come true with over 200 acres of apple orchards and farm land, as well as a full market and bakery that offers a selection of local, high-quality meats, dairy, cheese, produce and other grocery goods. Goldsmith’s has built a strong community of partners and loyal customers who value small-batch, local goods made with mindful practices. Goldsmith’s owns several farm locations throughout the Beaver Valley area, and they pride themselves on growing the finest fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, whilst using mindful and sustainable practices. Goldsmith’s grows over 160 acres of apples in both conventional and high-density formats with over a dozen varieties available each harvest season. You can shop their entire selection of produce at the online store for pick-up or local delivery! They deliver to Thornbury, Blue Mountain, and between Collingwood and Meaford. 

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Grandma Lambe’s Market

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Grandma Lambe’s is located in the heart of apple country in Meaford, Ontario and opened in 1992. The store has expanded four times since then to accommodate the growing business. Take a trip back in time to Grandma’s place when visiting. Enjoy the aroma of freshly baked apple pie and enjoy recipes that have been passed down through generations. In the early 1940’s, Mabel Lambe began selling home-grown apples from her garage on Highway 26 in Meaford. With the success of her apple-selling venture, Mabel enlisted the help of her daughter-in-law Grace to add home-baked apple pies to be sold at the roadside fruit stand. This small entrepreneurial act launched the Grandma Lambe’s we know and love today. Today, the orchard is 130 acres with over 15 varieties of apples, including the three original heritage varieties.  Grandma Lambe’s  is your one stop shop for Ontario and Canadian goodies. Munch and crunch on one of their homegrown orchard apples and browse their selection of local baked goods and grocery. As they say at Grandma Lambe’s “APPLE’S ARE OUR BUSINESS, PIE’S ARE OUR PASSION!!”. Grandma Lambe’s apples are sold in the Grandma Lambe’s stores and are used in Grandma’s famous apple pies. Different apple varieties come into season throughout August, September, and October, ranging from slightly tart to sour, crisp and fresh, to very sweet. Make sure to stop in this fall and get your apple fix!

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Maxwell Apple Orchards

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At Maxwell Apple Orchards, (formerly Meesters Farms Ltd) they have been very passionate about farming since 1989. Maxwell Apple orchards are a fruit and vegetable based, family run business consisting of four generations. They strive to provide fresh, locally grown produce to the towns of Collingwood, Thornbury and Meaford with over 460 acres of farmland. The apple harvest begins in August depending on the variety and ends in early November. Maxwell Apple Orchards offers many different varieties each season, including but not limited to, Macintosh, Cortland, Honey Crisp, Spy, Empire and Ambrosia. Their Farm Market is open seasonally from May to October. Check their website for hours of operation, as well as all of their locations.

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Oaklane Orchards

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Oaklane Orchards is a family owned and operated farm specializing in growing high quality apples, pears and plums.  Located in the Town of the Blue Mountains, the farm is on 130 acres smack dab in the middle of Apple Country.  With rolling hills right near the Georgian Bay, Oaklane Orchards is the perfect destination for a family trip or an escape from the city! Oaklane Orchards has been growing high quality, farm fresh apples since 1973.  In 2018, the Fox and Close families bought the orchard and expanded the acreage from 50 to 130 acres by merging with an adjacent farm. They have since added 6,200 new trees bringing the farms total to approximately 45,000 trees! Apple season starts in August and runs through November so be sure to participate in U-pick, place an order online, or visit the Farm Market Store.

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Blackbird Pie Company

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In the heart of Beaver Valley lies the peaceful hamlet of Heathcote, Ontario, and there you will find Blackbird Pie Co. Blackbird Pie Co. is a small family owned business known for its hand-crafted sweet and savory pies that are produced on site and baked daily. Blackbird Pie Co offers a wide selection of fresh and frozen food as well as great products from local suppliers. They are a proud member of the Apple Pie Trail here in South Georgian Bay, and offer a variety of products such as their classic apple pie, apple crumble muffins, tarts, crisps and many other delicious treats made from locally grown apples. Whether you visit them by car, bike, canoe, on horseback, or on foot, they would love to share the community of Blackbird Pie Co with you! Make sure you pencil them in on your next visit to South Georgian Bay!

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Photo Credit for Giffen’s Country Market to Michelle Tenki

Photo Credit for Blackbird Pie Company to Wendy Webb

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We hope you have a fun and safe time exploring South Georgian Bay! Share your memories with us by tagging @SGeorgianBay on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

Planning to visit South Georgian Bay in the near future? Please contact individual businesses to confirm method and hours of operation and plan ahead by making reservations when possible. Visit our “Know Before You Go” page by clicking here.

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