Pine Farms Orchard
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Toronto - June 2nd, 2021 - On a cool and cloudy Sunday morning two weeks ago, though undesirable conditions, I was determined to visit at least one farm for the day. With the will to explore and the desperate need to restock my fridge with lettuce (I love me a good salad), I trekked out the door with a familiar destination in mind: Pine Farms Orchard.
Growing up in Vaughan, Pine Farms Orchard was a family staple amongst my neighbors for as long as I could remember. I also have personal memories of myself on the grounds of the farm in the fall lining up to purchase one of their homemade pies. However, I was very excited to visit the farm in the spring to see what the atmosphere is like at this time of year. Driving east down 16th Side Road off of Jane Street, I approached the familiar small sign at the side of the road, followed by the gates open to welcome guests leading into the farm’s parking lot. Upon arrival (quite early in the morning, may I add), I was happy to see a few locals enjoying a coffee and a treat by their cars outside of the red farmhouse that lies on the left hand of the farm’s grounds.
Before exploring the market, bake shop, and cafe that are within the farmhouse, I decided to take a walk towards the orchard. Walking straight up the path from the farmhouse, there are rolling green lands to the left, a cute-as-can-be barn and gallery directly ahead, and orchards going on for what seems like forever to the right (I’m serious, I tried walking far enough to see the end of them and did not make it). At the time of my visit, apples, asparagus and rhubarb inhabited the orchard. I could have stayed out there, walking the rows for hours, but the rain gave me a little kick to make my way back to the market.
Inside the market I was met by a member of the founding family of the farm who walked me through the makeup of the market - which consists of farm grown and locally sourced produce (and some US grown produce that we would not be able to grow in this province of ours). The family behind Pine Farms Orchard decided to offer this market as they order products from local farms to use in the foods they make at the bakery and cafe, and thought it would be a good opportunity to promote these local businesses to their customers as well. In the bakeshop, there is a selection of their fresh baked pies, cookies, pastries and bread that are offered year round (however, nothing compares to their fall pies, and I mean nothing). They also have a lot of homemade, apple-inspired farm fresh foods: apple cider, meat pies, cheeses, jams, jellies, sauces, dressings, seasonings, honey, and maple syrups. Within the bakery is the Pine Farms Cafe as well (which I will definitely be visiting again post Covid).
Pine Farms has been a home for the founding family for more than half a century. It all started in 1942 when Ernie and Mary Rolph purchased 100 acres of pine forested land in King Township now known as Pine Farms Orchard. In the mid 1940’s flower and vegetable gardens were planted and the couple built their family home right on the farmlands. In the late 1940s, Ernie planted his first apple orchard. In 1977 local farmers leased the orchard from the family, preserving and maintaining the apple orchard. Since then, the farm was taken over by Ernie and Mary’s granddaughter, and has been run by the family ever since.
Not only can I wait to go back to visit the cafe when restrictions lift, but I also will be counting down the days until pick-your-own apples begins. A quick drive from home and a community staple for years, Pine Farms Orchard will always be one of my favourites.
To learn more about their different offerings, visit the Pine Farms Orchard website.