Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Mount Albert, Ontario
Toronto - June 11th, 2021 - Waking up on the Monday morning of a long week, there is no better thing I could think of to top off the holiday than to take a sun-shiny drive north to visit a few farms that have been on my radar.
My first stop of the day was Brooks Farms. The drive East down Ashworth Road from Highway 48 was particularly beautiful that day; grass as green as can be, not a cloud in the bright blue sky, sun sparkling, and rolling hills of farmland from left to right. The farm is hard to miss on this long stretch of road, with signage set out front of the driveway on the left. Turning in, I was not surprised to see a parking lot bustling with young families making their way to the Brooks Farms’ playland that sits on the left of the farm store.
I exited my car and headed directly to the sprawling farmlands, laying on the right of the farm store, that felt as if they were asking me to explore them. After walking as much as I could before reaching the point of fearing no return, I made my way back to the farm store. I entered the store through the designated entrance, coming face to face with more than I had imagined. Brooks Farms’ store includes their farm market, café, and bakery boasting an array of products in which majority come from local vendors. The market includes local meats, fresh produce, frozen fruits and vegetables, preserves, giftware, and of course, maple syrup. From their bakery, the store offers fresh baked goods as well as a café kitchen serving fresh sandwiches.
Brooks Farms started in the mid 1800’s when Edward Brooks brought his family from England to Canada. After spending a few years living nearby the town of Uxbridge, Edward moved the family west towards Mount Albert directly to their current location. For over 150 years the farm grew corn, wheat, barley, turnips, potatoes, and all sorts of farm animals. In 1990, the fourth generation farmer, Alvin Brooks and his wife Brenda, decided to grow pick your own strawberries and raspberries. In 1994, their second oldest son, Paul, decided to farm full-time with his father. From there, generations of the Brooks family grew the farm to be what it is today: more than a farm, but a destination for families every single year.
From my visits to many Harvest Honourables thus far, I’m working on a list of family-friendly farms with activities for children. Brooks Farms will definitely be a front runner! If driving from afar, I would definitely recommend scheduling your visit around pick-your-own season while taking advantage of what the playland has to offer. But for those nearby, Brooks Farms is a weekly staple for all of your shopping needs! Oh, and did I mention they have an on-site poutine truck!?
To learn more about the Brooks family and their farm, visit their website.