Business Food

7 Ways to Make Your Farm Market Visit Work For Everyone

Written by Patti Foley

Ready to hit the country roads this fall? Read on for some thoughts on how to have a great visit 

Covid-19 has put tremendous pressure on many businesses and the agri-tourism industry is no exception.

Apple orchards and farm markets have taken extra measures as required by the Ministry and Public Health but, for some of our Caledon locations, last weekend demonstrated how challenging managing the situation may be.

Every one of these long-time local businesses wants to absolutely ensure that their guests and staff can have a safe and comfortable experience. And that their business can remain open to serve you. But for that to happen requires continued compliance, on their part, and on yours.

Just like other businesses they have social distancing requirements, mask rules, maximum crowd number restrictions, and other safety protocols to comply with; the absence of which can mean large fines, and even business closure.

With your diligence and cooperation we can all continue to enjoy our farm markets well into the fall season. Here is how you can contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience for them and your family:

  1. Remember there are maximum capacity restrictions. Book early if reservations are required. Remember mornings and weekdays are usually less busy.
  2. Only 1 or 2 family members should enter the store. Remain cognizant of how long you spend browsing, many others are waiting in line to enter. Touch only what you intend to buy.
  3. Understand and respect that we are in unique times where not everything is available. Stores may be short-stocked and even unable to get certain items at all.
  4. Adhere to well-known safety protocols including social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing or sanitizer use, both before and after your visit.
  5. Have patience with staff. No one was ready for the pandemic. Many businesses are short-staffed meaning folks may be feeling tired and stressed.
  6. Some locations have implemented a reservations system to adhere to maximum numbers. See our notes below.
  7. Most locations to not allow dogs or picnic lunches on site at this time.

Some Caledon locations you can visit; please be sure to check their websites for updates before you go.

ALBION ORCHARDS – 14800 Innis Lake Road, Caledon – Website

HOURS: Store is open Wed to Fri from 10:00 to 6:00.  Pick Your Own (PYO) hours are Sat and Sun only from 10:00 to 4:00 (and Thanksgiving Monday)

RESERVATIONS: Required for weekends only. Call 905-584-0354 or email office@albionorchards.com  No Admissions fees.

PRICES: PYO $20.00 for a 10-pound bag. Honeycrisp $20.00 for an 8-pound bag. Seconds $12.00 for a half-bushel

VARIETIES: Macs, Cortland, Empire, Spartan and more

OTHER ITEMS: Honey, pies, cookies, baked goods, and more

DIXIE ORCHARDS – 14309 Dixie Road, Caledon – Website

Dixie Orchards did not respond by press time.

DOWNEYS FARM MARKET – 13682 Heart Lake Road, Caledon – Website

HOURS: Store is open 9:00 to 5:00 daily

RESERVATIONS: This year Downeys is offering a Farmyard Play Area instead of PumpkinFest. The area is open daily and Tickets ($15.00 per person) must be purchased online in advance. Seasons Pass Holders must make a Reservation. No walk-ups are permitted. No refunds, farm is open rain or shine.

PRICES: $20.00 for a 10-pound bag, $35.00 for a 20-pound bag.

VARIEITIES: Empire, Macs, Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, Golden Delicious and more

OTHER ITEMS: Honey, cider, baked goods, and more

SPIRIT TREE ESTATE CIDERY – 1137 Boston Mills Road, Caledon – Website

HOURS: Shoppe is open Wednesday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Thursday/Friday/Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. PYO on Sat and Sun only, 10:00 to 4:00 pm

RESERVATIONS: Not required for apple picking. Reservations ARE required for the bistro, booking 4 to 5 days in advance. Admission fees $5.00 per person, kids under 5 are free

PRICES: PYO $2.50 per pound

VARIETIES:  Gala, Macintosh, Empire, Golden Delicious, Mutsu. This will be the last weekend for Honeycrisp.

OTHER ITEMS: Pies, pastries, freshly baked bread and of course cider!

About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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