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On the Farm: Where to get back to the land in Hamilton
Fun fact: most of Hamilton is rural.
That means hands-on farms, pick your own fields and pretty, rolling farmland are all close by and ready to experience.
Here are 11 spots to visit in time for harvest season to help you get back to the land.
Please check with farm prior to visiting for current safety updates and availability.
1. Carluke Orchards
2194 Shaver Road S., Ancaster
Thirteen apple varieties and a selection of pumpkins are waiting to be picked at this Ancaster orchard. The family that runs it has been farming in the Hamilton area for 200 years with three generations currently working at the orchard. After you’ve worked up an appetite, satisfy your sweet tooth at the on-site bakery and gourmet food market.
The scenic 120 acre Glen Drummond Farm centres around a sprawling pumpkin patch, but there are a whole lot of other things going on, from nine-hole mini putt to a huge corn maze. Explore the seriously scary haunted house if you dare. Wagon rides take you to the edge of the escarpment where you’ll catch breathtaking views. Their bakery and market are a must visit too!
Come for the pumpkin patch, stay for the 20-acre corn maze and 8-acre sunflower maze of beautiful, Insta-worthy blooms. Don’t leave without popping into The Tiny Shop Bakery specializing in from-scratch fruit pies in over 30 varieties! Then head into Christie Lake Conservation Area across the street for some hiking.
Take a scenic wagon ride down to the field where over 50,000 pumpkins await a good home at this farm. The farm is operated by a family who have been growing fruits and vegetables in the Hamilton area for six generations and focuses on sustainable production systems. It has a corn maze with a family-friendly puzzle to solve, and a market packed with locally sourced produce, preserves and baked goods.
Season: June to October
Pumpkin hayrides usually operate every weekend from the end of September to the end of October. Pumpkin picking starts daily in September to October
5. Myers Apple Farm
37 Highway 52, Copetown
Did you know the apple is Canada's leading fruit crop? Head to the orchard for a bushel, picked by hand or purchased at the market store, where there's other delicious produce and preserves. A handy picking schedule shows what's in season, so you can zone in on your favourite apple varieties.
There's a lot going on at this historic farm, including a pick-your-own schedule. Let Little Pudd, the agricultural touring train, take you through the orchard and around the winery. Visit the Farm Market & Country Store for a sample of local foods or to purchase a bottle of one of their 30+ wine varieties.
Pick your own season: Pears (September), apples (September to late October), grapes (September-October), pumpkins (October)
Stroll through the impressive fields of sunflowers before checking out the 10,000-tree orchard, offering season passes! Pick apples, pears, pumpkins and squash, priced by the pound. Kids will love the retired old tractors, hay jump, animals, candy apples, wagon rides, corn maze, and play areas.
Locals in the know come here for their Christmas tree and plenty of holiday cheer (the family's last name really is 'Merry'). But come fall, Merry Farms hosts a Pumpkin Fest worth travelling for. Choose the perfect pumpkin, play a corn maze game and hit up the pedal kart race track. There's also pumpkin bowling and kiddie rollercoasters among the 30 awesome family activities.
This petting zoo has the friendliest animals around. BYO lawn chair or blanket and join the sheep, pigs, and cows for a movie night inside the large covered dome. Snuggle goats between downward dogs during goat yoga, or book a horse or cart ride to see the scenery.
Petting zoo open daily (Wednesdays are reserved for first-responders only). Yoga is usually offered weekly. Movie nights weekly until October and then monthly. All subject to change, check website for dates.
The farm, which raises alpacas for their fiber, offers tours and walks with these adorably social creatures. Come feed the alpacas and visit the shop for farm-made products like yarn, clothing, jams and jellies. In for a unique experience? They offer alpaca wedding pictures and even AirBnb stays!
Take a trip to Somerset Orchards for a taste of their award-winning ciders. Rotating taps, bottles, and seasonal ciders that change monthly are available to try. While you're there, stay the night in the light and airy three-bedroom Somerset Cottage on the property with stunning views of the orchard.
Open daily from May to early October, then Friday to Sunday