A Fall Day At Downey’s Farm Market

Before you ask yourself whether or not I’ll be over the autumn-themed blog posts after this one… no, I am not and probably won’t be until December hits and then it’ll turn into Christmas themed blog posts. Love me. October especially is my month to wallow in the autumn-ness because October is the month that I was thrust into this world (almost) 23 years ago (thanks mum).

With it being Thanksgiving weekend (if you missed out on the pumpkin dip from my last post, don’t worry… I won’t judge you if you make some now and eat it all to yourself), we decided to get super festive and go to a pumpkin patch.

Having been to the pumpkin patch in our city many times, we thought that it’d be fun to venture out into the GTA and see what they had to offer. Well… let me tell you, they had people, and LOTS of people to offer. I’ve never seen a farm so busy in my life. There were people and screaming children everywhere. I guess that’s what you get when you go to a pumpkin patch in a big city on Thanksgiving. Oh well.

The farm was called Downey’s Farm Market & Winery. To be honest what drew me too it was the “winery” bit. That makes me sound like a bit of an alchy, doesn’t it. I just like wine, ok?! That, and they had animals there. I love me a cute little goat.

To get into the farm and play area itself is a little pricey at $14 per person, but once you’re inside there is a petting zoo, a play area for the kids, a bouncy pad, a trailer ride through the farm, and a corn maze.

The best part for me – because I am actually a 6 year old living in a 22 year olds body – was the little petting zoo. I think I was more excited about the animals than the kids were. I pet my first alpaca… Have you ever pet an alpaca before? They’re SO SOFT?! I had no idea, I learnt something at Downey’s Farm.

Then there was the little Farmer’s Market. It was a sweaty experience: Donuts frying, pies cooking, grown adults low-key fighting over baked goods. Joyous. We did manage to snag some pumpkin donuts that actually tasted more like cake-y cinnamon sticks, though.

Now, the winery. Downey’s Estate Winery. Considering the amount of land this farm spans over, I was surprised at the (small) size of their “winery”, or wine shop. It could have appeared smaller due to the shear amount of people in there, but also it could have (I think this is more the case) been that the room was actually dinky. I felt so sorry for the guys behind the little wine bar who had tiny little sample glasses been thrust into their faces.

First we sampled a Strawberry Rhubarb wine which, although sweet, was a little too dry for my liking. So, upon the fellow behind the counter’s recommendation, we tried their Frambroise Raspberry Dessert Wine which has won numerous awards in the past – and rightly so. It was sweet, as dessert wine should be, but the kick of fruit flavour made it fresh and not too sickly. We ended up buying it so whoever has us for Christmas this year is going to be one lucky bunch.

As we we were perusing the shelves of wine we noticed that there was a maple icewine, and with us both being maple fans we thought it’d be a good shout… Boy were we wrong. Do you remember my Wine Tour post back in July? I told you the story of when I first tried icewine back in highschool? (if not, check it out here). This wine took me back to that experience. If you like whiskey then you’d actually probably like the maple wine, but personally when I drink wine I don’t like to feel like I’m drinking liquor.

The field of pumpkins was most aesthetic thing about Downey’s Farm, the sea of orange against the blue skies that day were lovely. So you can bet your booties that we took some lame ass couple pics in the middle of it.

All in all I think we would have had a much better experience if there wasn’t so many people there. Our fault for going on Thanksgiving weekend I suppose but I just don’t think we expected there to be THAT many of them. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been living in a small city for so long, you forget what big cities are like.

Have you been to Downey’s Farm before? What was your experience like? Comment below! And if you’re from the GTA/Niagara region in Canada, what are your favourite pumpkin patches to go too? I’ll put it on my list for next year!

Until next time