woman picking strawberry

10 best fruit stands in Niagara

From strawberries to peaches and more, it's harvest season in Niagara.

The Niagara Region is about more than just wineries and vineyards. If you haven’t been to Niagara to take advantage of its bountiful harvest, you’re missing out. From strawberries, fiddleheads and asparagus in the spring, to pumpkins, squashes and apples in the fall, the Niagara region is one-stop shopping for the best in Ontario produce.

1. Red Barn Farm Market

The Red Barn Farm Market is the destination for local strawberries, especially early in the season when it still seems like an impossibility to find these ruby red gems grown in fields close to home. Thanks to innovative growing techniques used in the fields surrounding this beacon of goodness, The Red Barn Farm Market is often first out of the gate with its berry harvests, offering big, juicy strawberries that kick off local fruit season in the region. They keep coming until the first fall frost, too. The store is also a source of fresh baked goods, including pies and muffins, which act as vessels for the area’s bounty. The shelves get more crowded with fresh produce and sweet treats as the season goes on.

 

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2. Romagnoli Farms

This third-generation fruit farm is a one-stop shop for just about every tree and vine fruit Niagara has to offer. Come high season, the Romagnoli Farms stand is the place to go to eat the rainbow, offering berries of all kinds, cherries, peaches, pears, table grapes and apples. This farm stand is one of the very few in the region where you can find doughnut peaches, a flat version of Niagara’s flagship fruit, that’s easy to pack for a picnic and tidy to eat for when you’re on the go. Early season offerings include honey from bees used to pollinate the Romagnoli orchards and maple syrup from nearby sugar bushes. Curbside pickup is an option, too, thanks to a website set up for online orders.

 

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Romagnoli Farms, 4605 Thirty Rd., Beamsville

3. Hildreth Farm Market

Hildreth Farm Market is a welcoming and popular stop for tree fruit grown on this fourth-generation family farm. Vegetables and other produce grown by the Hildreth family’s friends nearby make it easy to fill fridge crispers at home with everything that’s in season now. The market is open June to October and is complemented by a pick-your-own strawberry operation, and later, pick-your-own cherries.

 

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Hildreth Farm Market, 5528 Greenlane, Beamsville

4. Bizjak Farms

Organic peaches are an elusive fruit, thanks to the high humidity of July and August in Niagara. That doesn’t stop Bizjak Farms from trying to grow peaches with as few manmade and chemical interventions as possible. The emphasis of this family farm is on using organic and sustainable growing practices. The Bizjaks do this by nurturing soil health and using beneficial insects and plants in their orchards to fight disease and crop-damaging pests. Prefer canned tender fruit to the tree-ripened stuff? Home-preserved harvests are also available to feed the nostalgia for peaches and pears floating in sweet syrup.

 

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Bizjak Farms, 3320 First Ave., Vineland

 

5. Restaurant Pearl Morissette

Restaurant Pearl Morissette (RPM) has carved out a reputation as one of Canada’s best. The reason is simple: unparalleled talent in the kitchen and in the gardens just outside the dining room’s door. RPM is dedicated to growing food using regenerative and sustainable farming methods that honour the health of the soil and the people growing and eating the harvests. New this year, RPM has added a farm stand that’s open weekends for anyone to purchase the latest pickings, including the vegetables and herbs that make up memorable menus, and flower bouquets that help create the conviviality for which Pearl Morissette is known.

6. Warner’s Farm

Warner’s Farm is a standout because of the variety of fruit that farmer Torrie Warner grows. Warner isn’t afraid to experiment, planting new or rare fruit on his farm, and making his the place to go for the hard-to-find harvests. That includes German plums, those small, sweet blue orbs that make German plum cake the coveted late summer treat it is. There are crabapples and quince for the jelly makers among us, table grapes that don’t yet have mass-market reach, and countless varieties of apples that also go into cider. Warner’s cider has won awards at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Conference’s annual sweet cider competition.

 

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