Disclosure: My family and I were invited to spend the afternoon at Chudleigh’s Farm. They fed us and let us roam all over the orchard. Then we picked some apples and made our way home. No other compensation was received.
Chudleigh’s Farm is celebrating 50 years this year. The Chudleigh family were pioneers in the agri-tourism industry. After opening their farm to neighbours and friends in 1967, they quickly realized that city folk wanted the entire country experience. Except for the waking up at the crack of dawn part. City people weren’t looking for that much country life.
Back in the day, the average family would pick 2 bushels of apples to store in their fruit cellars for the winter. Today, with the advent of commercial cold storage and year round availability, families only take home between 10-20 pounds at a time.
As the first Pick Your Own Orchard in Ontario, they quickly added wagon rides, a petting zoo, and a children’s play area. Then Mrs. Chudleigh started baking pies and things really got rolling.
And Then Came The Pies
Beginning in 1973, Carol Chudleigh started selling selling apple pie slices for 25 cents apiece. As time went on, the Original Apple Blossom was developed. Using Northern Spy apples, this single serve dessert has become a freezer section staple. Did you know that Chudleigh’s farms can produce 1 million Apple Blossom desserts a week? That’s a lot of dessert.
About ten years ago, the Chudleighs opened a state of the art 110,000 square foot bakery just down the road. There, they produce Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes, Pineapple Upside Down Cakes, Berry and Apple Blossoms. Today, 65% of Ontario’s Northern Spy apples are processed into those little bundles of flaky joy.
The farm is open from September to the end of October each year. You can be on of the 75,000 visitors to stop by to explore the 47,000 apple trees, strategically laid out across 60 acres. In addition to the trees, there are rope swings, a petting zoo, a straw maze, and a play ground.
You can bring your own snacks to eat in the picnic area in the parking lot. For a real treat, try out the new Savoury Blossoms available from the Farm Kitchen. Available in Pulled Pork, Butter chicken, Tuna Melt, Beans & Greens, Mac & Cheese, or Pizza. The main dish blossoms are made from a whole grain crust and are about twice the size of a dessert blossom. In fact, we gobbled ours down so quickly I didn’t get any proper photos of them. I did sneak in a few to my Instagram account.
There’s still a few weeks left to stop by the farm. If you aren’t local, look for their delicious desserts in your grocer’s frozen dessert aisle.