9365 10th Sideroad, Milton/Halton Hills
So, this was my second time at Andrews’ Scenic Acres in Milton – the first was for pumpkin’ picking.
As we walked in (***update***no admission fee), we were told that there were strawberries and raspberries ready for picking – and were given two baskets – a larger one for the strawberries and we were told to hop on the berry bus which was just coming down the road.
So, we hopped on and were taken down a little way to the strawberry fields. Upon our descent I asked one of the three teenagers where the best place would be to start picking. She directed us to the far end of the fields and said we’d get some good strawberries there and for the raspberries to go equally as far behind a thicket of trees. So we set off with our baskets in hand. The farm was fairly crowded; full of people doing the same thing. We didn’t see too many berries but we plucked quite a few that we thought were decent.
We noticed that the strawberries weren’t that big and decided that what we’d gotten was enough and went on in search of the raspberries.
Near the raspberry bushes, we saw more strawberry fields and what’s this?? GIANT strawberries!!
Why, it seemed that girl sent us off in the wrong direction – perhaps to scatter the crowd? Boo. There were far better sized strawberries in this location. Too bad our basket was almost full! Nevertheless, we plucked some more and then went to check out the raspberries, which were plentiful towards the back of the raspberry rows.
We went through the aisles and finally discovered some really nice fat ones, ending up with a juicy basketful.
Then we hopped back on the berry bus which stopped to pick up some people in the blueberry fields – I didn’t know we could pick blueberries too, so we decided to get off the bus and look for some blueberries (my favourite!). The bus tried to take off while a family (the mom had a baby in her arms) was still climbing on board, which I thought was irresponsible, as did everyone else who shouted at the driver (just a young boy, again).
I had no idea blueberries were so gorgeous! Some didn’t look ready but we managed to find a nice batch that were. Yum!
After this, we jumped back on the berry bus and back to the farm.
We decided to check out the playground area as my 9 year old niece was with us and wanted to play, and then we decided to get something to eat at the food stand…a hot dog and a veggie burger.
Now, we were seated near the food stall, and close to the entrance and were just about to begin eating…I was literally starting to take a bite out of my hot dog, when this man came up to us and scolded us for not having paid for our berries first. I was like…huh?Wha?
He said we couldn’t just buy food and eat before paying for the berries! I was absolutely dumbfounded, “Excuse me?” I said. To which he replied that once we got off the bus we were to pay for the berries immediately and that’s what they tell you on the bus when you get off. At this point I started to get annoyed by his tone and accusation of what, stealing the berries? I told him that we were going to obviously pay for the berries and were not aware that we had to pay for them before doing anything else on the farm and that nobody on the berry bus (or at the entrance, for that matter!) bothered to mention this and that I could go in and pay right then and there! At this, maybe feeling bad for accusing us of stealing, he half-heartedly said we could finish eating first. I decided it would be best to pay and get that done, so I started to head to the barn to pay, and saw him following me. Honestly? I turned to him and told him that I thought he’d been quite rude and that he shouldn’t have assumed that we were stealing the berries because we had really been having a nice time at the farm enjoying the warm weather and he’d completely ruined the experience for us.
Once inside (and once I paid – $28 for all three baskets) I asked to speak to the owner of the farm and this young man turned up. I told him what had happened and he apologized and said that the older man who had yelled at us was in fact the owner and that was how he was. I told him how unfortunate it was for him to have dealt with the situation the way he had as it had really brought a damper to the day.
Once outside with my baskets (the handles now stamped with smiley faces on them indicating that they were paid for) I went back to my hot dog!
I was trying to get a bite of the damn thing when the older man showed up again! I think he must have either spoken to (his son?) the young man inside and realized how rude he’d been ’cause he started apologizing for his behaviour and saying that people often visit the farm and steal the berries and leave the baskets lying around. I told him that I understood but he should rather execute a better system of paying for the berries or employ more people to guide the visitors instead of going around accusing honest citizens of theft.
He agreed with me and apologized again and said that other farms had more people and that he should perhaps do the same. I reminded him that nobody on his berry bus had mentioned anything about this nor had they said anything at the entrance, so he should really make changes to that system if he wanted people to comply.
He did offer to give me a fresh hot dog but at that point I just wanted to eat the one I had (it was about 3pm by this time and I still hadn’t eaten!). Still, I thanked him and told him that this wasn’t our first time on his farm and that we loved coming to it and that I totally understood where he was coming from, and so there were no hard feelings.
We left it at that, and then my niece did the pony ride that was offered there and we left.
I’m not sure how many people know of the payment policy, but there you go, now you know and do comply with the rules unless you want to be told off in front of everyone for just trying to have some lunch at Andrews’ Scenic Acres!