It is said there is no fruit sweeter than the one you pick yourself. Which would explain why fruit picking is such a popular weekend activity for families in Québec City. Want to cook with fresh ingredients? This is your chance to bring the farm right to your table. Although there are pick‑your‑own operations scattered throughout the region, you’ll find them concentrated on Île d’Orléans, in Portneuf, and in Côte‑de‑Beaupré. These areas are known for their apples, strawberries, and raspberries, but you’ll also find fields of blueberries and certain vegetables, like pumpkins and corn, available for picking. If you’d like to meet locals and chat with friendly farmers, put this outing on your list!
Fall in Québec is synonymous with apple pie, and with good reason. Apple picking is one of the most popular activities of the season, and a beloved tradition for many families. Although the timing depends on the weather and the variety, the pick‑your‑own apple orchards are usually open to the public in September and October. On the busiest weekends, some orchards even have special activities and entertainment for the kids.
On Île d’Orléans and in Côte‑de‑Beaupré, you’ll find many orchards where you can take your “pick” from some of the 12 varieties of apple grown commercially in Québec, including McIntosh, Cortland, and Lobo. Many operations also carry a selection of homemade products such as sparkling apple juice, delicious apple butters and pies, and a variety of ciders.
Île d’Orléans is famous for its delicious strawberries and has plenty of pick‑your‑own fields. Strawberry season on most farms runs from the end of June to the end of July, although some varieties are available right up until the first frost. Fall strawberries are actually sweeter than the ones you get in the summer, so in either season, do as the locals do: pick (or pick up) a basket of Île d’Orléans strawberries whenever you get the chance!
From mid‑July to the end of August, it’s raspberry time! If you’re in the area, head to a pick‑your‑own farm to stock up on these delectable berries for winter. In baking, on cereal, or in jams and jellies, raspberries are a treat for everyone!
Known as a superfood and loved for their deliciousness, blueberries are native to Québec and grow here in abundance. When it’s time to pick them on the farm, there are plenty of options on Île d’Orléans and in Portneuf and Côte‑de‑Beaupré. For a new twist on an old favourite, there are many recipes that combine blueberries with local cheeses. Delish!
Blackcurrant is a little treasure that you can find on Île d'Orléans. Rich in vitamin C, we recognize the fruit and its buds several medicinal properties. These tasty little black and shiny berries with a sweet and slightly tangy taste are native to Europe and Asia. They have been cultivated on the island for more than a quarter of a century. Kir is a happy marriage of white wine and blackcurrant syrup.