U-Pick Vegetables 2020!
After a slow start to the season, we finally have some veggies ready to pick at the farm! What’s in season changes week-to-week, sometimes even day-to-day! We have the following ready or u-pick now:
- Zucchini – Yellow, Green, Cousa, and Eightball
- French Sorrel (Lemon Lettuce)
- Edible Flowers – Pansy, Marigold, Bachelor Buttons, Borage
- Red Russian Garlic
- Kale – Purple, Winterbohr
U-Pick Veggie Measures in Place for Covid-19
We ask that you please:
- Stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19
- Keep 2m between you, other guests and staff
- U-pick appointments are limited to a maximum of 8 people – all 8 individuals should be of the same family/friend cohort
- Each vegetable u-pick appointment will have a personal guide to help you pick your veggies
- Children are welcome but must be closely supervised
- Wash your hands before and after your visit
- Avoid touching things unnecessarily anywhere on the farm – your u-pick guide will pick produce for you
- Plan on using a card and the tap option on our debit/credit terminals
- Do not bring your own pails – we will provide new pails for you
- Masks are appreciated!
Book Your Reservation Below
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
DO I NEED TO MAKE A RESERVATION?
- Yes, you will need to make a reservation to pick vegetables this year.
WHAT TIMES CAN I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR?
- Appointments will be available for 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm throughout the week and weekend!
WHAT IF I WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME ON THE FARM?
- We’d love it if you wanted to spend an afternoon with us! Book a Family Farm Picnic and enjoy a private campfire site, some of our fresh farm produce, and solve our corn and sunflower labyrinths.
CAN I BRING MY DOG TO UPICK VEGETABLES?
- Thank you for asking! Please leave your pets at home. They will not be allowed into the farm and it is too hot to leave them in your vehicle.
CAN WE PICK STRAWBERRIES DURING OUR U-PICK VEGGIE APPOINTMENT?
- The strawberry field is separate from our vegetable u-pick. To pick strawberries, you should make a separate appointment here: https://prairiegardens.org/produce/u-pick/. U-pick strawberry appointments are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to 12pm.
HOW MUCH DO THE VEGETABLES COST?
- It depends on the kind of vegetable and the amount you pick! For example, tomatoes are $15/1.5L pail. Vegetables like kale and sorrel would be $3 for a small bunch and $5 for a large bunch.
WILL THERE BE AN ADMISSION?
- No, there will be no admission. You’ll just need to pay for the vegetables you pick!
WHAT HAPPENS IF ITS A RAINY DAY?
- Dress for the weather and come pick some strawberries! We do not charge a cancellation fee, but you will need to re-book your new picking time.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK?
- No, wearing a mask is not required when picking vegetables (though it is appreciated!) as your u-pick guide will pick your produce for you. If you book an appointment to pick strawberries, you need to wear a mask while picking the berries.
Sundrenched Alberta strawberries fresh from the farm. The berries are so sweet! Off to a slow start – picking season will run late – from July 27 to August 24 this year!
- Pick Your Own Strawberries from mid-July to early August at Prairie Gardens
- Season is on time this year – we expect ripe strawberries by Mid July which will run to Mid August.
- Ripe strawberries are available on a first come first pick basis
- We also have other veggies for U-Pick in August (Peas, Swiss Chard, Kale, Herbs) a little later in the season
- Pumpkins in September & October
- The U-Pick Strawberry Patch charges a $5 per person admission, which includes a wagon ride, and free 4 L pails to pick into plus wrist band for adventures back at the Prairie Gardens homestead site. (the patch is offsite – 1 km north) You pay for what you pick. The U-pick Berry Price is $20 for 4 L and $15 / 1.5 L
- Sign up for the Prairie Gardens E-newsletter to be notified when the strawberries are ready for pickin’!
Never Been to a U-Pick Strawberry Patch? It’s Summertime Fun!
Here’s how it works! It takes about three days for a half-ripe berry to turn red. Usually, we have folks out picking on Saturday, which means that ripe berries are ready to pick again by Wednesday (U-pick starts at 10am, on a first come basis), however, if there are yet more ripe berries, we continue picking. If it rains, there are ripe berries ready by the next sunny day. A little hard to plan for, but that’s nature for you!
The “King” Berries are the first and largest of the season. Pick-Your-Own starts for them about the 15th of July. They are the first berry of the berry cluster, and are available for the first week.
“Main-Season” Alberta U-Pick Strawberries in the Edmonton region are ripe for the picking the week of July 22nd. The berries are sweet, juicy and dripping with sun-ripened flavor. Main season picking runs for about a week to 10 days, until the end of July.
The “Fairy” Berries are the sweetest (and the smallest) of the season. They’re usually ready for the beginning of August, but the hot weather changed everything! Celebrate the end of the strawberry season with us at our on-farm Fairy Berry Festival the August long weekend.
We grow lovely garden Peas – snap or shelling; Baby Potatoes: Red Norland, Colomba and Santina Gold, (U-dig) or find at our Farmer Market on Sundays from 12pm – 6pm starting mid-July. Heirloom Tomatoes, Garden Greens and Zucchini Squash are ready at the beginning of July!
Here’s what we’ve got planted in the gardens: Vegetable Season starts in late July – You can U-pick peas or beans or squash, or find our produce fresh picked at our Farmer Market 12-6 on Sundays!
- Summer Squash Scallopini, Cousa (Lebanese Zuchini)
- Peas – Edible Pod and Shelling
- Green, Purple and Yellow Wax Beans
- Zuchini, Green, Gold and Striped
- Beets, Carrots, and Onions available at our farm market (not u-pick)
- Sweet Corn – Please call ahead to order by the 50 cob sack! (Not u-pick)
- Kale – Blue Ridge, Russian Red, and Redbor,
- Fresh Dill, Parsley, and all kinds of Fresh Herbs (not U-pick available at the farm market on Sundays 12-6
- Swiss Chard – Red Rhubarb, Bright Lights
- Edible Flowers – Begonia, Pansy, Calendula, Bachelor Button, Viola, Marigold
Sweet Corn on the Cob is like garden candy! We’re growing it at the homestead farm, and will have ready picked corn ready for our Corn Fest weekend! Our sweet corn is usually ready to harvest around the last week of August. We grow six different varieties, from Extra Early Super-sweets, to Peaches and Cream. We sell it by the cob or by the sack.
Taber may be famous for it’s corn production in Alberta, but fresh sweet corn is absolutely the sweetest when it is fresh picked. The sugars within the kernels convert to starch very quickly (by 50% every 24 hours).
The six different varieties we grow start to ripen by late August and continue until the first killing frost –usually around mid September. Please give us a call at 780.921.2272 to order it by the sack for corn roasts or parties. The long weekend in September we celebrate the harvest with the Prairie Garden’s Corn Fest! We also grow baby corn!
And Corn Mazes! Look up! Way up! It’s the Maze Corn – which grows quickly nearly 15 cm a week to a towering height of over 3 meters tall – and is ready to get lost in by the August long weekend. We grow over 7 acres of maze, with 5 km of trails in it. Each year, Precision Mazes, from Kansas City, Missouri, creates a brand new GPS design for our Great Prairie Corn Maze, full of twists, turns and surprises! Even after the frosts, the maze corn stands tall until the end of October, and becomes part of the fun at the Haunted Pumpkin Festival.
We grow over 40 varieties of pumpkins in a huge 7 acre field, then hand pick them and bring them indoors into our greenhouse pavilions when the nightime temperatures start to drop below freezing. We’re famous for Blue Pumpkins, Striped Pumpkins, Warty Pumpkins, Pie Pumpkins, and Big Bruisers for Jack-o’Lanterns!
White pumpkins are excellent this season, as the hot summer days are just what the pumpkins needed to mature! We grow Baby Boo (mini) Casperita, Casper, and Cotton Candy white pumpkins. Our favorite is called “One too Many” as you can never have one too many of this one. It’s white with an orange spider web over the top!
Come pick out a pumpkin weekends at our Haunted Pumpkin Fest! On weekdays, come and choose a pumpkin from our indoor pumpkin patches is between 2:30 and 4:30, when we have staff available to assist you! On the weekends, admission is refunded if you stay less than 1/2 hour to purchase your pumpkin.
We grow all of our own pumpkins in the Edmonton, Alberta, countryside.
The prices range from $1.50 for Jack-Be-Littles, to $3 for Pie Pumpkins to $25 for Jack O’Lanterns.
CHOOSING A PUMPKIN, STORAGE AND CARVING TIPS
We grow a wide variety of squash including green or gold Zucchini, Vegetable Marrow, Scallopini, Lebanese Zucchini, Vegetable Spagetti, Hubbard, Acorn, and Stripetti squash.
They can be cooked in a number of ways. We love to sautee slices of them with butter, garlic, and herbs. You can also stuff them with a mixture of cooked hamburger, rice, and tomatoes.