Cherry Picking at Cherry Avenue Farms

Posted on August 4, 2011


So what do you do when the cousin that is visiting you have been here a couple of times?  Everyone says that the third time is the charm.  Does that mean I have to top the previous two visits?  We have done all the obvious Toronto draws (CN Tower, trip to Niagara Falls, etc, etc).  The only thing that a favor to my side is that this is the first time that my cousin, Dexter, came in the height of summer.  So my sister Ayen and I thought, maybe it’s time to show that Canada is not all about the cold.  With only 10 days to show him how Canadians embrace the summer, maybe it’s best to show him something that he has not experienced yet.  Eating fresh cherries!

After some serious cramming to come up with newer ideas, the best one that my sister and I came up with is getting Dexter to Cherry Farms at St. Catharine’s.  We all grew up in Manila and our idea of cherries is that it always comes canned and preserved.  I promised him that fresh cherries would taste nothing similar to cough syrup flavor.  Watching him eat one was like déjà vu to me.  He certainly had the same reaction as me when I ate my first unpreserved, unsweetened, plump and freshly-picked-from-the-tree cherry.  From the tentative frown before plopping one cherry into his mouth to the slow smile forming on his face, as he was pleasantly surprised that cherries are nowhere close to what we knew as kids.  With that realization, he probably started eating as fast as I did.

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Even if I did pay the price to enter the farm, I didn’t get to pick too many of them.  Each cherry I picked went straight to my mouth.  As expected, the cherries were plump to touch,  gorgeously shiny and smooth.  I have a preference for the slightly tart ones, that being more of the red/yellowish kind. Ayen and my friend, Tere, also went for some of the burgundy-colored cherries, as they are sweeter in taste.  My little godchild though just goes for whatever she can reach, politely asking my niece Gabrielle or my nephew, Jeremy, to lift her up for cherries that are too high for her to reach.  She is just too cute to watch cherry picking with her tiny basket.

We stayed picking cherries for about two hours. I just merrily snapped pictures, keeping an eye on the kids while eating cherries on the side. Despite the sweltering heat and long traffic getting there, it was a good day with my family.  Cherry season is over but I still recommend for all to visit local farms.  I visit the farm’s website and they have plums, apricots and peaches ready for the picking right now.  There is nothing better than indulging in-season locally produced food.  Brings me back to my childhood days when life was simple as I hang on a limb of a tree, eating a sweet fruit.  Indeed, two very good memories for me to keep.


In case you are wondering what other things we preoccupied my cousin in the remaining days of his visit, here are the things we did in a whirlwind.  Watched U2’s 360° concert, a quick three-day trip to Montreal visiting the Biodome, Labyrinth du Hangar 16, the Indiana Jones exhibition at the Montreal Science Centre, and watched Cirque du Soleil’s Totem and have gone climbing the long stairs at noon at St. Joseph’s Oratory.  After we came back to Toronto, we watched together last movie of Harry Potter and had a shopping spree at Toronto’s Vaughn Mills.  I get exhausted at the thought of all of these in a few days.  But it was well worth it.  My cousin says he would be back next year for another visit. :)