The Gleaner
Agriculture

Pumpkin patches are open for business

Callan Forrester

Fall in the Valley means a whole bunch of fun activities are just around the corner. Apple picking, football games and fall markets fill the region with excitement and energy for the short while that we get to enjoy the season. One of the most iconic parts of any autumn is pumpkin picking. Whether you’re choosing one for a Thanksgiving decoration, a delicious dessert, or a spooky jack-o’-lantern, there are plenty of places across the community where you can pick the perfect pumpkin for the upcoming season.

Framboises et Parapluies is a relatively new family farm in Saint-Chrysostome which grows raspberries and strawberries in season under umbrella shelters. This fall, besides the berries, it is offering a pumpkin and squash U-Pick. Open as of September 25, this farm offers gourds of all shapes and sizes, with an impressive 23 kinds of pumpkins and 7 types of squashes. Entrance is free and the cost of the pumpkins depends on size and type. While visiting the pumpkin patch, you’ll also be able to experience a small petting farm and a variety of games for kids. Current hours are weekends from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Moving over to Franklin, Blair Orchards is open seven days a week for the fall season. Besides its huge array of apple products and baked goods, Blair’s has a U-Pick pumpkin patch that has been open since the end of September. It’s staying open for as long as possible while supply and weather allows. Though the orchard is open every day, the pumpkin U-Pick is only available on weekends. There is no entrance fee. The orchard is open seven days a week until October 24, and hours are as follows: the bakery, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and the restaurant, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

 

Rockburn Orchards in Hinchinbrooke is just one of the places in the Valley where you can pick a perfect pumpkin. PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

In Hemmingford, Petch Orchards has tons of fall favourites lined up. From apples to pumpkins to delicious donuts, it’s a valley staple. This year, the pumpkin patch opened on September 24 with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes offered, along with many kinds of decorative gourds; it is pay what you pick, with prices varying from two to six dollars, with some gourds under two dollars. Petch Orchards is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., every day until November 1. While you’re there, you can also check out the one-hectare corn maze.

In the Saint-Antoine-Abbé region we have the Verger du Pirate. Until Thanksgiving, it will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. After that, it will be open until the end of November, every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alongside activities like apple picking and the pirate ship, a pumpkin and squash U-Pick is offered, which includes pumpkins plus butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squashes. Entrance is free; prices of pumpkins vary.

Verger Rockburn is offering pumpkin picking at a cost of five dollars per pumpkin, or two pumpkins for five dollars for smaller ones. There is no entrance fee. You will find the gate open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. While there, you can also enjoy a variety of apple products, Quebec garlic, and maple treats.

None of these locations require vaccine passports upon arrival as the activities take place outdoors. Autumn feels like it comes and goes in the blink of an eye, so make sure to take advantage of the few weeks of pumpkin season that we have left before it’s too late!

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