As we prepare to bid farewell to another amazing October, we must also say “so long” to apple orchard season. If you are a Halifax resident, you know that the best pumpkin patches, apple orchards and corn mazes are located in The Annapolis Valley. About an hour outside of the city (depending on where you live), this is a favourite year-round destination for those who want to reconnect with the best of mother nature and create lasting memories with their families. This is why, when gifted a sunny Saturday, we knew it was the perfect fall day for Noggins Corner Farm.
On a sunny day, the drive to The Valley is always beautiful. With sprawling fields, white cliffs and red mud, there is no shortage of places to look. Anticipation builds as you drive closer, and a sure sign that you are almost at your destination is the sudden abundance of apple orchards and vineyards. When we finally arrived at Noggins Corner Farm, just off Highway #1 in Greenwich, the excitement was palpable. Cars filled the parking lot with families arriving and departing. Most were carrying pumpkins and large bags of apples, but all of them were smiling with joy.
Our intention was to take our toddler apple picking for the first time and bring home our goodies to bake an apple crisp- a solid recipe for a great day. As we walked closer to the farm we saw that there were many more attractions than we had anticipated. Corn mazes, pumpkin patches, wagon rides, food trucks, and several play areas for kids – including a haunted house. My husband and I looked at each other and knew that our great day had just turned into the perfect day.
After waiting in line for a bit, we paid to enter the Family Fun Area. Our $12/ person admission (kids under 4 are free) gave us access to an 8-acre corn maze, a mini maze, and activities like the rubber duck races, rope climb, and more. Our little guy played for a while and made new friends as we looked on eating hot dogs. There was a brief moment when I thought that apple-picking may not happen at all because he was having too much fun, but we were able to lure him away with the promise of a wagon ride.
The wagon ride was exhilarating. People were packed onto the long wooden structure and pulled by a tiny tractor that goes much faster than you might expect. The sun was hot and I heard whispers of how great the breeze felt as we rushed up and down hills and around tight corners throughout the orchard. Once we arrived at the drop-off spot, we purchased our apple-picking bag and choose what size we felt worked best. We had free rein to fill the bag with as many apples as we could. It was a common sight to see people waddling around the orchard cradling bags with overflowing apples falling to the ground. With rows upon rows of trees, each row was marked with small signs that indicated the type of apple you would find. While I am not much of a baker, it is my understanding that the best baking apples tend to be a little less sweet. So, I began googling “best apples for baking” and hunting for the short list of names I found familiar – Cortland, and Spartan (no Honeycrisp in sight. I imagine they are the first to go).
I was happy to have my camera because I could not resist the urge to take family photos. Believe me, I took a bajillion. I have photos of my son running through the orchard, rolling around in the grass, pointing at the perfect apple, picking said apple, eating said apple, and helping us carry our bag. These are photos I will cherish forever and they are the perfect souvenir of our perfect day at Noggins Corner Farm.
Noggins Corner Farm
Address: 10009 Hwy #1, Greenwich, Nova Scotia