Every summer my family goes on fruit picking excursions. This summertime tradition started for our family many decades ago. My parents’ families back in Greece were both farming families. My Dad’s family grew grapes and made wine and my Mom’s family grew an assortment of fruits but mainly cherries and peaches for market and the cannery factories in Veroia. Although both of my parents came to the big city in the new world they never forgot their roots and always found ways to stay connecting with their upbringing. You know the saying, “You can take the farmer to the city but you can never take the farmer out of the person.” This is true for my parents because when they were in search of their first and second house one of the key selling points was that both properties had a large enough yard in the back to make a vegetable patch. Once my parents were settled and my Dad became more acquainted with the areas in Southern Ontario it did not take him long to find all the pick your own farms. One of the farms I remember going to as a child is Whittamore’s Farm. Back in the day when there wasn’t much development in Scarborough it felt as if we were going far up to the country but now it is a short 15 minute car ride to pick locally grown strawberries. Last week, to kick off the start to our summer tradition we drove that short distance from the Scarborough Centre for some fruit picking fun.
In about an hour we had picked almost 15 kilo of strawberries. Rafael says to me,”I guess you’ll have to make jam or a loaf with all these strawberries because there is no way we can eat all these just like that.” I would have loved to make jam and a loaf with my freshly picked and locally grown strawberries however (and not to my surprise) one week later we have managed to eat all the strawberries just like that; out of the fridge and into our mouths. Is there any other way to eat a strawberry? Although I cannot share recipes I have made with my Ontario Strawberries, I can share with you where you can pick your own.
Aside from strawberries picking, Whittamore’s has a huge family fun farm perfect for all ages. They have farm animals kids can feed, tractor rides to go on and many play areas. Also, if you are hungry or want to take home some homemade goodies they have their Farmer’s Market showcasing produce grown right on premises and other delicious foodie items from artisan food producers. However you choose to enjoy your time at Whittamore’s you definitely make it a family tradition as we have many years ago.