Feast Your Way Through The Best Farm Stands
As the dog days of summer slip by, farm stands begin to fill. The range of produce grows daily as veggies ripen, fruits ready for picking and the fields reveal their bounty. While a few prominent farm stands are situated along The County’s major routes, many more are tucked away along its back roads and side roads, just waiting to be discovered. Come enjoy fresh, local, seasonal, just-picked, home-grown produce through late-spring, summer and into early-fall!
Here are some of our favourite farms and farm stands!
written by Sharon Harrison, edited by staff September 2020
Visiting Farm Stands:
Many farm stands are self-serve, working on the honesty system – leave your cash payment in a lock box or look for e-transfer instructions. Or, if you’re living local, you can also have produce delivered through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, ordered directly from a farm, or through a central hub like Locazoa.
A working, organic-certified farm with a two-acre market garden. Thyme Again offers heritage tomatoes, cabbages, peppers, squash, herbs, pumpkins and many unique vegetables. Check out the self-serve roadside farm stand or visit the farm house for eggs, meats, fleece and more.
A family favourite year-round, Campbell’s offers the most diverse selection of apples by at least a country mile. Get lost in the corn maze! Kids will love the animals and the country playground. There’s a vast array of vegetables and fruits (including pick-your-own) at the quaint market, plus home-baking. Or, discover preserves, pickles and relishes, locally-milled flours, ferments and of course, fresh-pressed sweet cider.
Danforth Acres is the place to head for local sweet corn. They also offer new potatoes, peas, garlic scape pesto, kale, Swiss chard, as well free-range chickens and eggs. This is a typical County farm stand: there’s rarely anyone on site, just a couple fridges and a table of fresh-picked produce, a price list and a box to leave your cash.
A huge selection of lavender-inspired products awaits, including vinegars, teas, sugar, chocolate, gelato and more. Pick up lavender and herb plants and explore the blooming lavender fields in July.
SHED is an alpaca farm with a retail shop attached. You can find the softest teddy bears, cloud-like shawls, alpaca-themed tea towels, ridiculously soft dryer balls or pick up a bag of SHED [poop] for your garden.
Not your average farm stand, Portico Gardens on County Road 2 proudly displays its certified organic status. It boasts a rustic barn and an eclectic mix of produce. Check in for artichokes, beans and beets, heirloom tomatoes, purple carrots, herbs and microgreens. And garlic. Lots of garlic! Or try the roasted garlic pearls known as garlettes or the bruschetta kits.
A fixture at the far west end of Wellington Main Street, Lakeshore Farms offers top-quality, farm-fresh produce. Try their freshly-baked delights (including legendary doughnuts). Their farm also does pick-your-own strawberries in the spring.
Don’t have time to tour all the farm stands? Check out the market instead. This iconic County market still features actual farmers! You can usually find Blue Wheelbarrow, Sunset Farms, Waupoos Acres, Cloven Farms, Lakeshore Farms, Roblin’s Maple Syrup at the market.
Van Grootheest offers a shady spot to choose from a wide array of fresh-picked fruits and vegetables. In addition to huge buckets of gladiolas, they offer a huge selection of peppers, eggplants, squash, sweet corn and decorative gourds.
Give peas a chance. | Photo Courtesy: @VanGrootheestFarm
Laundry Farms knows produce: the offerings from these third-generation farmers are extensive and include veggies, apples, corn on the cob. All this, plus a splendid selection of pumpkins and honey.
Specializing in reintroducing the old and obscure, Haystrom boasts 400 varieties of heirloom and exotic fruits and vegetables. They also have pickled exotic beets, maple fire chili sauce and Arabiatta tomato sauce. You’ll find them at markets around Toronto, as well as on Bethel Road, north of Picton.
Honey Wagon is proud to offer produce containing no herbicides, pesticides or fungicides. The self-serve farm stand offers a good range of produce and a wow-factor display of fall squash and pumpkins. This makes them a favourite on Countylicious menus, but they are most famous for their maple syrup: they tap 550 trees at the back of their 86-acre farm.
Just off of Hwy 49 is the Elmbrook Farm on Elmbrook Road. Specializing in organic vegetables and microgreens, as well as honey, they offer overnight stays in an on-farm yurt!
Don’t miss the delicious asparagus at Greenridge Farm in the spring: it’s a County tradition. This Picton-area farm grows 60-acres of the tall, green stalks, which you can buy at the on-site farm stand or on the plates of County restaurants.
Hagerman is one of The County’s most popular farm stands, found on the outskirts of Picton on Highway 33. The family-run, multi-generational farm dates to 1905 and offers a wide range of vegetables through the growing season and is known for its pumpkins and squash. Plus, there’s a fabulous on-site bakery, chickens pecking at the dirt, and super-friendly and informative staff. And if you look up, you’ll see the farm has five barn quilts to admire.
Stop in at this small family that focuses on sustainable farming practices, meaning they grow without chemicals, plastics and fossil fuels. One of the more adorable farm stands, it’s on County Road 4, just north of Picton. They feature chicken and duck eggs, fruits, veggies, maple syrup and more.
Just a few minutes outside of Picton on White Chapel Road, Jubilee Forest Farm offers a farm stand with Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Beef, Pastured Organic Chicken and Eggs. Book a Farm Tour with Farmer Tim and discover their regenerative farming practices. Epiphanies are normal!
Established in 1924, Fosterholm Farms offers a great selection of vegetables and fruit. They offer high-quality dairy products, baked goods (seriously delicious butter tarts!) and pure maple syrup and maple products.
Kleinsteuber Farms is conveniently situated on the way to Sandbanks Provincial Park on County Road 12. The fourth generation farmers grow a large variety of vegetables, fruit, fresh-cut flowers and plants within the 35-acre market garden.
A 25-acre heritage farm, Hawkridge Homestead is dedicated to sustainable and organic farming practices. Its product range includes spicy Thai sausages, free-range guinea eggs, blackberry gin jam, pickles, pesto and much, much more. They also offer a CSA, and will deliver some products to larger cities for an additional fee.
Vicki is synonymous with County tomatoes. She offers more than 100 types of heirloom tomatoes, plus other farm-fresh finds at the post office-turned-farm stand on Morrison Point Road. Vicki’s seedling sale is legendary, offering a carnival atmosphere over the Victoria Day weekend. The event welcomes the true start of gardening season.
Nyman Farms is known for its animals including lamb, chicken, beef and pork as well as turkeys and eggs. Be sure to try the amazing maple syrup. Nyman is a must-stop for families during Maple in The County with sausages and syrup to taste, plus baby animals on display.
Floralora grows approximately three acres of annuals, perennials, shrubs and vines. You can purchase mixed bouquets and single variety bunches all season long at their self-described humble, self-serve farm stand. Visit here to put a little County beauty into the bounty.
Quinta do Conde sells fresh-pressed olive oil, free-range eggs and an ever-rotating selection of veggies from their three-acre market garden. Nestled on the north shore of the Black River, the farm is home to a wonderland of farm animals. Check out their hens, waterfowl, guinea fowl, sheep, pigs and Alabaster, the great-Pyrenean, who protects them all. Quinta do Conde also hosts a summer camp program that helps kids connect with food and farm life. They present long, slow summer dinners that are truly farm-to-table and workshops on such farm life staples as fermenting your own wine.
Tucked off the road south of Milford, Honey Pie offers a farm stand and tasting room. Known for their mead (wine made from honey), they are beekeepers and herb growers. Try their herbal teas and extensive range of honey, which includes chocolate honey and lavender honey.
Known for their extensive orchards, stop in at Creasy’s Apple Dabble Farm late-summer through fall for apples, apples and more apples. Creasy’s is one of the many farm stands dotting the road through Waupoos.
At The Blueberry Patch you can pick-your-own strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples and, of course, blueberries or purchase ready-picked at the farm stand.
“Fields of gold” best describes the 35 acres of sunflowers blooming at Sunnydale Farms in July and August, but the sixth generation farmers are also known for their tasty kettle corn and popping corn. Sunnydale is a true family farm with deep local roots. Look for asparagus at the roadside stand in spring.
Pick-your-own or purchase ready-picked blueberries at the pesticide-free Little Highbush (est. 1979). On the hottest days of summer, giant walnut trees on the property provide valuable shade.
They grow lettuce, onions, cucumbers, snow peas and more at Waupoos Acres Farms. Sign up for the CSA program to receive goody-boxes of seasonal produce or drop in for pick-your-own strawberries.
Six acres of glorious veggies grow at Fiddlehead Farm, from radicchio and rutabaga to turnips and tomatoes, celeriac and cabbage. You’ll find eggplant and edible flowers, herbs galore, Jerusalem artichoke, melons and more.
Farmer Matt at Sunset Farms is known locally as “The Pepper King.” With 60 varieties of peppers started in their 50-foot greenhouse, they have everything for pepper lovers from sweet to hot. This fourth generation farm boasts a wide variety of produce and fresh cut flowers at their County Road 15 farm on the Bay of Quinte.