My parents were staying with us for a few days before their car trip around the eastern provinces of Canada and so we decided what better way to spend a Saturday than with a family trip to a farm outside of Montreal to pick some apples. The farm we picked this time was Les Vergers Lafrance, located west of Montreal, about 45 minutes drive from where we live. The website said that it had playgrounds and kids' activities throughout the day on weekends and picnic areas for families to enjoy while they were there. They also had a boutique where they sold a wide range of apple products including jellies, jams and pastries, and ciders.
We arrived at about 11am and already the immense grassy hillside carpark was almost full. We managed to get a spot under a tree and headed down the hill to the farm. We made it past the playground without having to stop for Austin to have a play, convincing him he was an expert apple picker and he had to teach Nan and Pépé how to do it! We got to the entrance and chose our bag sizes. You could get 10lb bags or 20lb bags so we decided on two 20lb bags so that we could pick lots of apples! And boy is 40lbs of apples a lot of apples!
After running around picking apples off trees, tripping over the apples blanketing the ground, and catching the tractor-pulled cart back up the hill to the picnic areas, we ate our packed lunch sitting at one of the many tables set up under a tent. While Austin had a play in the playground we took turns visiting the boutique, trying the ice ciders and the yummy apple pastries and then it was time to go home.
This farm was much busier than Quinn Farm, where we went in August. There were people under almost every tree in the orchard and you could hardly move in the boutique! I would definitely recommend apple picking in the off season! The autumn apples might be a bit sweeter than the summer apples but if you don't like crowds, go in summer!