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Summer may be winding down, but apples and pumpkins are now coming into season. It’s time to enjoy the bounty!

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Abbotsford’s Applebarn at Taves Family Farms is in full swing, ready to entertain with a petting barn, corn maze, pony rides, pumpkin patch, hay rides, a general store, snack shack and rows of delicious u-pick apples.

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The three-generation, family-owned farm is currently run by Loren Taves, together with his wife and children. They harvest everything from apples, corn and heirloom tomatoes to plums and pumpkins.

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The Taves grow non-GMO fruit and veggies, and use a sustainable method of agriculture called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to ensure crop control with the least harm to both environment and fruit.

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Over the sunny Labour Day weekend, we fuel up and head down (about an hour and change from Vancouver) to pick some sweet and crunchy Honeycrisp and Alkmene apples.

Applebarn at Taves Family Farms

It’s the perfect weekend, so the parking lots are already filling up by noon. We’re told that this is one of the busiest Labour Day weekends the farm has seen yet.

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We begin our visit with refreshing apple cider slushies from the general store then make our way to the Corn Quest Maze.

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The sun’s shining through all those tall corn stalks and at times we come across a dead end, but eventually we exit and walk over to the sunflower patch and apple orchard.

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These aren’t your run-of-the-mill store-bought apples. The minute we take a bite of our first flavour-packed Alkmene, we’re converts. These are amazing, even more so seconds after we’ve plucked one from a tree.

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The U-pick apple selection rotates with the season, so it’s best to check out the website to see what’s currently on offer.

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[It’s hayride time!]

It’s still early September, so the Ambrosia, Fuji, Jonagold, Gravenstein, Spartan, Elstar and Sunrise varieties have yet to become available, but Galas, Honeycrisp and Alkmene are ripe for the picking now.

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And even though the farm is packed with families filling up bags, there’s still tons of fruit on the trees.

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[Pony rides offered on weekends]

U-Pick fruit ranges from $.90 to $1.60/lb. (the larger the bag, the better the value). For example, during September and October, a 5 lb. bag costs $8.00; a 25 lb. bag, $30.

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Visit Taves Family Farms online for hours of operation, directions and event updates. They’re located at 333 Gladwin Road in Abbotsford, BC.

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