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Fall’s Pumpkin Harvest – Fun & Good for You

BoyPumpkinMany farms in an around Toronto offer the perfect fall adventure–pumpkin picking. For those looking for a great outing with family or friends, the pumpkin patch isn’t the only thing you’ll find at these harvest events. Most include various fall activities related to farm living, such as apple picking, hay rides, crafts, a fresh vegetable market, tours, even pig races and corn mazes!

Here are some of the best offerings this fall. Check for optimal visiting times! Most require an affordable admission for all or some of the activities.

  • Albion Orchards (Caledon) apple farm and country market selling pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
  • Andrew’s Scenic Acres (Milton) comes with wagon rides and a field where you can select your favourite pumpkin from 5 lbs. to 80 lbs. Take a 90 minute guided tour around the farm to view the fall colours.
  • Brooks Farms (Mount Albert) Enjoy a Fall Fun Festival all October. Entrance fee includes access to the Barnyard Playland, pig races and a pumpkin cannon show.
  • Cooper’s CSA Farm & Maze (Zephyr) A genuine, un-commercialized visit to a real working farm offering lots for the family to enjoy including a 10-acre Game of Thrones themed corn maze, asparagus mini maze, hay climb and wagon rides.
  • Downey’s Farm Market (Caledon) is all about fall fun. Select pumpkins, take a ride on a wagon, walk through their corn maze, say hi to the farm animals and indulge in tasty treats.
  • Forsythe Family Farms (Uxbridge) runs their annual Harvest Festival from Thanksgiving weekend until Halloween. Includes pumpkin picking, corn maze, wagon rides and an animal cuddle station.
  • Pingle’s Farm Market (Hampton) wagon ride to the pumpkin patch. Open daily offering farm activities like an 8 acre corn maze, mini-golf, sandbox and visits to the farm animals.
  • Reesor’s Farm Market (Markham) has pumpkins to choose from in all sizes, vegetables to buy and a corn maze. Closed Sundays.
  • Springridge Farm (Milton) Harvest Festival runs every weekend in October. Find a wide variety of pumpkins or take in a puppet show, wagon ride, pipe slides or visit the farm animals.
  • Whittamore’s Farm (Markham) famous for Pumpkinland and Harvest Festival weekends. Admission includes a spooky forest, mazes, swings and shows.

Eat Pumpkin for Health!

Many people tend to think of pumpkins as little more than just a Halloween decoration or a Thanksgiving pie filling, but pumpkin is an extremely nutrient-dense food.

Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body once it is eaten, a vitamin necessary for health vision, skin and brain health.

Consuming one cup of cooked, canned pumpkin provides over 100 percent of our daily needs for vitamin A, 20 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, 10 percent or more for vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese, and at least 5 percent for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.