If you’re looking to pick-your-own apples this fall, look no further! Apple picking is a quintessential fall activity that is fun for friends, couples and families! It’s also such a perfect photo opportunity for your Instagram/blog, photography mini sessions with families, and more. Apple picking season in Ottawa starts in late August and continues to early October. Continue reading for 10 apple orchards near Ottawa, tips for apple picking and tips for upgrading your photography game.
NOTE for 2021: It has been a tough year for all types of farmers and many orchards are advertising that their yields are smaller than usual. Get out early to make sure you can get your apples!
AppleStock Orchard (Winchester): Opening on September 4, 2021, they are currently only picking McIntosh apples but they have planted some other varieties for future years. Location: 1341 Merkley Rd, Winchester, ON K0C 2K0 Hours: Open seven days a week, 9am to 5pm
Verger Croque-Pomme (Thurso, Quebec): Over 20 hecatres of orchards with 3,000 trees and 30 varieties of apples. Stop by for a snack bar, a terrace overlooking the orchard, play areas, an educational beehive and tractor rides. Location: 20 Mnt Berndt, Thurso, QC J0X 3B0 Hours: Open Thursday to Monday
The Log Cabin Orchard (Osgoode): Opening on September the 10th 2021, this orchard is named for the log cabin that was the original homestead of Clarke Moses, an Irish immigrant who settled the farm in the early 1800’s. You can purchase snacks (like churros, candy apples, hot dogs and more), bring your pets and take photos in their photobooth! Cash only. Location: 6121 Cabin Rd, Osgoode, ON K0A 2W0 Hours: Thursday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm
Cannamore Orchard (near Casselman): A family-run farm east of Ottawa open for over 30 years, with family activities on the weekends. Enjoy hedge mazes, cow train rides, covered wagon rides, pedal cars, kids play area, chickens, fresh fudge, and more! They also have their famous Acres of Terror halloween event – tickets available online. Location: 1480 County Road 32 Crysler, ON, K0A 1R0 Hours: Open seven days a week, 10 am to 5 pm
Mountain Orchards (Kemptville): Now open, Mountain Orchards was planted in 1932 with over 10,000 trees in the orchard this year. Enjoy a wagon ride, the straw jump, a corn maze, playground, forest trails, and a picnic area. Location: 10175 Clark Road, Mountain ON K0E 1S0 Hours: Open seven days a week, 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends
Orleans Fruit Farm (Orleans): Open Saturdays and Sunday for pick-your-own apples in a convenient location on St. Joseph Blvd just east of the Rockliffe Parkway. Location: 1399 St-Joseph blvd Ottawa (Ontario) K1C 7K9 Hours: 10 am to 5:30 pm weekdays and 9 am to 5 pm weekends
Ferme Dagenais (Embrun): Organic apple and bring your own bags to this health food store. They note that apples are often sold out by the end of September. Location: 1155 Stevens Road, Embrun, Ontario Hours: 10 am to 5 pm weekdays, 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday, closed Sunday
Avonmore Berry Farm (near Casselman); free wagon rides in the afternoon and children’s play areas are available. Location: 16365 Fourth Rd Avonmore, ON K0C 1C0 Hours: Open seven days a week 9 am to 5 pm
Pine Hill Orchard (Bourget): The farm has 20 varieties of apples, 9 varieties of table grapes and homemade wine and apple cider. Also features wagon rides and a picnic area. Location: 248 Greenfield Rd, Colrain, MA 01340 Hours: Open seven days a week 9 am to 5 pm
Pinewood Orchards (Kanata): Several different varieties of apples from our 800+ full-size trees, most of which are more than 50 years old. There’s also a small market with fresh fruits and vegetables. Location: 101 Herzberg Rd, Nepean, ON K2K 2Y3 Hours: Open 7 days a week
Apple picking tips
Bring bags and a good pair of shoes. Some places don’t have bags so it’s good to bring your own just in case, and a good pair of shoes is necessary because the ground is often uneven! Wear rainboots after rainy days because they ground can often be mucky! Check websites and social media accounts before going – crops can sell out quickly and especially this year as the weather has not been great for growing any form of food! Apple season in Ottawa usually runs from late August to mid-October. Most orchards are already open for the season. Apples should be firm and bruise-free. Gently twist to remove a ripe apple and don’t shake the trees or branches. You’ll likely be told at the orchard which apples are ripe for the taking and if there are multiple varieties, which trees to pick from.
1. Bring your own props: a wooden apple basket, picnic blanket, wooden crates, etc. for the perfect aesthetic. Most orchards should have a ladder to pick higher hanging fruit but don’t count on it either! 2. Shoot through the leaves on a neighbouring tree to add some depth of field (see example below). Adding depth of field elevates your photo and provides interest. 3. Coordinate your outfit in autumn colours (I love yellow, brown and red with the green and red apple trees) 4. Shoot close ups of the apples. Similar to the basket shot below, showcase the gorgeous apples with trees in the background, or the apples in a basket. 5. Avoid taking photos during high noon (harshest light for photographing people) which is early afternoon. If you do go during the early afternoon, try to take photos in the shade and not directly in the sun.