Fall harvest activities in and around Montréal
Fall is on Montréal’s doorstep, with its crisp light, shorter days and cooler temperatures. It’s time to say goodbye to long and lazy summer days and get back to the more serious things in life, like school, university or work. Fall, however, doesn’t have to be synonymous with a more humdrum season. In fact, if you ask us, it’s one of the most exciting seasons for its harvest. Dozens of fruit and vegetables mature in the early days of autumn and there’s nothing we love more than spending a day in the country picking our own produce to consume or conserve or hunting down the best spots to enjoy fall’s bounty in Montréal.
The Great Pumpkin Ball (October 5 to 31 / 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Espace pour la vie is hosting a Pumpkin Ball where young and old can learn all there is to know about the gourd family while admiring the 800 decorated squashes and pumpkins.
If you don’t have the chance to get out of town this fall, just head to one of Montréal’s public markets for a visual feast this harvest season. Stalls stacked high with jeweled-toned tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, berries, pumpkins, apples, onions and more are a joy to admire and, of course, taste. Check the markets’ website for seasonal activities.
Labonté de la Pomme - Verger & Miellerie
From apples and pears to pumpkins and plums, pick your own fruit and vegetables at this family-friendly farm. Labonté de la Pomme - Verger & Miellerie is in the beautiful Oka valley about 45 minutes from downtown Montréal. Several children activities, a wood burning oven, a gourmet apple shack brunch and the possibility to book a guided tour for groups are some of the few options that make this farm a great choice for a day trip this fall.
Cabane à pommes Domaine Labranche (September 21 to October 28 / Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Many orchards around Montréal are now offering the “apple sugar shack” concept initiated by Au pied de cochon’s sugar shack several years ago. Domaine Labranche serves a gourmet harvest-inspired meal showcasing their own fruit and vegetables for a real taste of terroir. In addition to their gourmand table, Labranche also offers many activities such as a mini farm, hiking trails, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch and free tastings of their alcohols.
Located only 25 minutes from Montréal on Notre-Dame-de-L’île-Perrot, Verger Labonté specializes in apples, pears, pumpkins and squashes. They work with an ecological harvest vision and have respect for the environment. On site are several activities, including a playground and a farmyard for the little ones and three themed and animated corn mazes adapted for different age groups that challenge the participants to complete a mission.
Sunflower fields forever (August and September)
At Domaine Brassicole & Co in Orford, you can pick your own pumpkins and sunflowers. There are several activities on site, including a tasting of the farm’s very own microbrewery beers!
La fille du Roy
A six-generation family farm in the Montérégie region, La fille du Roy has a multitude of products for you to pick, from artichokes to ground cherries and a great variety of pumpkins and squashes. There are also many activities on the farm, including a corn maze and a wood-burning pizza oven!
Photos of flooded bright cranberry fields against a limpid blue sky are some of the prettiest harvest images you’ll ever see. Québec is one of the largest producers of the beloved red berry in the world and you can help harvest until about mid-October. Check out the Cranberry Interpretation Centre site to find a cranberry farm near you.
Cider bar Sundays (September 15 to October 14 / 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Cidrerie Cryo is firing up their apple wood burning pizza oven every Sunday until October 30 and cooking up some pies. Go for the apple picking and stay for a pizza picnic paired with some of their wonderful ciders.
Mayssam Samaha, blogger
Mayssam Samaha is a food and travel writer and blogger. She travels the world in search of the next culinary discovery. From Iceland to South Africa, she’s already visited over 30 countries and there’s nothing she enjoys more than wandering around a farmers’ market in a foreign city.
To see the list of our regular contributors, click here.