Bushels of Fun

Welcome to the next edition of "Elginsider: The Inside Scoop," where each week, a staff member from Elgin County Economic Development & Tourism will share the inside scoop on life in Elgin County!

For my husband and I, fall isn't complete without a stop at our favourite apple orchard, Great Lakes Farms. It has become a Thanksgiving tradition for us to spend a morning strolling through the sea of red and green, finding the juiciest and crunchiest apples to stock our fridge for the season. We are fortunate to have this bustling apple orchard, a mere 15 minutes from our home.

From the ever famous Macintosh to the sweet Honeycrisp, there is a variety for everyone to savour at Great Lakes. If these aren't your go-to, they also offer 20 others to chose from. 

Although we may be up north at the family cottage this Thanksgiving weekend, we snuck over to Great Lakes a weekend early to pick up a bushel of our favourite apples.

Even the rain couldn't stop us from partaking in this fall bucket list item  Great Lakes Farms is a fun place, rain or shine, all you need is a raincoat and a positive attitude.

One of our favourite apples to pick is the ever famous Macintosh, otherwise known as a Mac. It is tart, yet tender, and is ready to harvest at the end of September. My husband enjoys the big crunch that this variety provides, whereas I love the versatility of being able to eat them raw or bake them into a scrumptious dessert. 

If you don't have the time to bake your own apple desserts, MaryAnne and her staff sure know how to whip up some of the freshest and yummiest sweets around.

During our visit, we wandered into the Apple Barn to enjoy a sweet treat for ourselves. If you haven't tried one of their apple muffins, you are missing out, as these are to die for! 

Every year when we get home from the orchard, we always wash our apples, dry them off, and store them in our fridge to help them keep.

One of my all-time favourite things to do with our apples is to boil them down into apple sauce. 

A few years ago, I lucked out and was able to find an old-fashioned colander at The Whistle Stop, an antique shop in the heart of Shedden.

This colander pushes the boiled down "apple mush" through the small holes but keeps the core, seeds, peel, and stem from going through. It is what I like to call "the lazy man's apple sauce," as you don't have to spend hours peeling and coring them. I would encourage anyone to follow this simple method; the only trick is locating this unique colander for yourself.

As Elgin County's Marketing and Communications Coordinator, I would be remiss if I didn't mention sharing your apple-picking photos with us. When posting your pictures on Instagram, use the hashtag #ElginCounty for your chance to have them featured. 

As always, thanks for reading,

Jessica Silcox
Marketing & Communications Coordinator