Sharon Orchards Farm Market
East Gwillimbury, Ontario
Port Credit - December 10th, 2022 - On a Saturday morning in October 2021, I ventured north of Vaughan for my morning fix of Harvest Hunting. After my first stop in Newmarket, I headed north on Woodbine Avenue until I spotted a tiny red barn at the side of the road. This red barn held the Farm Market at Sharon Orchards.
I parked my car and entered the market where I was greeted by a lovely woman at the front desk. The market offered tons of apples, as well as honey, apple butter, and apple cider. During my visit I learned that Sharon Orchards is an apple orchard specializing in Heirloom Macintosh Apples, Disease Resistant varieties, and organic vegetables.
Sharon Orchards is passionately owned and operated by Paul and Cathy Hope. They are the only farm on the Farm to Fork tour that isn’t a generational farm – they moved to their property in Sharon with the intention of retiring and being close to their children, but little did they know where the three neglected apple trees in the backyard of their new property would lead them! After some pruning and TLC, the next year the trees yielded 35 bushels of heirloom MacIntosh apples – they had so many they were giving them away – and that inspired them to start The Sharon Orchards business and plant more trees – 500 to be exact.
Paul’s passion for agriculture stems from his father, who lived to be 102-years-old. He ran a herd of dairy cattle in the 1960’s, was an avid gardener, and believed in a good day’s work. Working with his father sparked the same passion for Paul, and a deep appreciation for the soil and everything that grows from it – including apples! Paul is the driving force behind the planting, tending and harvest of all the produce at the orchard.
Cathy steps in once the harvest begins. In a red portable at the end of the lane, Cathy is the smiling face you will see selling their fresh produce; including six different kinds of apples, and a variety of fresh organic produce. Almost everything you can purchase in the market was grown on the Hope’s property – even the honey is made from bee hives that are brought to the orchard each spring to pollinate the apple blossoms.
The Hope’s Philosophy has been the same for decades; put in an honest day’s work and sell what you grow. So if you're looking for truly delicious, locally grown apples, this is the place for you.