Foraging In Collingwood: 3 Edible Wild Plants You Can Find In Ontario

For many households, the pandemic has initiated an interest in culinary experimentation. People are busting out old cookbooks and looking to get creative in the kitchen. From sourdough starters to banana bread, the cooking trend has been growing, especially now that it is winter and people are spending even more time indoors. But did you ever think of using foraged ingredients in your meals?

One of the best things about living in Ontario, especially in the Collingwood Area, is the proximity to wild forests and beautiful beaches. These wild landscapes are home to a diverse network of plants that are not only beautiful to look at but edible. Foraging in Ontario has become more popular, and people are doing their research now during the winter to get ready when the vegetation starts to bud in the spring. 

If you are interested in trying your hand at Collingwood foraging, you will want to know which plants to choose. Once the warmer weather comes along, get out your wicker basket and head into the woods with your best pair of garden shears. 

Maple Blossoms

Almost every Canadian is familiar with maple syrup, but maple blossoms are not as well-known, especially when eating. Maple blossoms grow in the spring, and they are most prominent before the actual leaves begin to form. These are said to be sweet, and crunchy, and best served covered in batter and fried. You can also try and pickle them and eat them at a later time. Make sure to search for some reference photos, so you know you are picking the right ones. 


An unknown superfood, dandelions are very common throughout Ontario. These yellow-flowered plants are not only delicious but extremely nutritious with a hefty amount of antioxidants. When picking dandelions, make sure to do so in wild areas rather than in urban areas as there may be pesticides. You can throw the leaves in a salad, use the stems as a pasta- substitute, and add the flowers to a stir-fry.


Mulberry trees are prominent throughout Ontario. These large trees can yield tons of berries every spring and summer, but many do not realize they are edible. These tart delicacies are perfect for adding to a summer pie or your favorite jam recipe. They tend to look similar to a blackberry but can come in red and lighter shades as well. A reference photo will be your best friend as you hunt for these sweet treats. 

With a wildlife oasis in your backyard, you should start getting ready for the many activities you will get to explore when springtime arrives in Collingwood.

While it may be cold now, the winter will breeze by in no time. When it does, you can get ready to pick some delicious maple blossoms, some healthy dandelions, and sweet mulberries. You could even make a salad combining all three.

Make sure that you always do your research before picking edible plants. These three tend to be very distinct and safe, but many others could pose health risks. 


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Picking Pumpkins in Collingwood

Thanksgiving weekend is a glorious time here in Collingwood. The trees are changing colour and losing their leaves and the scenery is just magnificent. Not to mention that harvest time is now here and it is the perfect time for reaping its benefits namely by means of picking pumpkins and apples!

Fernwood Farms

This farm and market is located at 7865 Hwy 26, just outside of Stayner between there and Wasaga Beach. You can’t miss the farm, as the barn has a big red roof on it. Not only can you pick pumpkins, they have so much fun for the entire family. You don’t want to miss the corn maze, which comes in at a cost of $5 per person. Afterwards, get some family photos in the pumpkin patch and then pick a few to take home. Prepare to come hungry, as the bakery features old-style donuts, soft pretzels, pies (which includes their famous pie in a bag) and so much more. They also serve Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream and have gift baskets, seasonal vegetables and pre-made entrees. This October the 21st, come out to see the Pumpkin Pyramid Lighting, where they’ll light up 546 pumpkins. Bring a flashlight.

Farmer’s Pantry

Located at 788030 Grey Road 13 in Clarksburg, The Farmer’s Pantry is just outside of Thornbury. You’ll want to check their site for directions so you don’t get lost among the trees! With all sizes of pumpkins, this is the perfect spot to get your fill. Not only can you pick a pumpkin, you can enjoy the Farmers Fun Fields, which includes mini-golf on a ¼ km trail through their orchard, a wildlife interactive center, mazes, petting zoo and picnic areas. You can spend the entire day there for only $7 a person. Afterwards, head to the market to get some preserves, local meat and cheese and check out the local artisan corner.

Round’s Ranch

If you want to drive a little further out, check out Round’s Ranch, which is located at 1922 Country Road 92 in Elmvale. Not only can you check out the Pumpkin Patch, there are a number of other family-friendly features of the ranch. In fact, your admission guarantees you a free pumpkin for your family! There are also crazy pumpkin games during their Pumpkin Mania event including pumpkin hockey, pumpkin toss, and a pumpkin pie eating contest.

Do you know of any other great spots to get a pumpkin in the Collingwood area this fall? Let us know!

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The Moonlight Market

With all of the hype over the solar eclipse this week, many in Collingwood may have forgotten about an important event – the Moonlight Market. This once-a-year event happens in downtown Collingwood and is just as magical as the solar eclipse. This year Moonlight Market will celebrate its fifth year.

Our very successful Saturday morning farmer’s market holds a special event every September called Moonlight Market. In addition to the morning market from 8:30am until 1pm, the vendors will be open and ready for business on Saturday, September 2nd from 6pm to 10pm in their usual location, which is located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Second and Pine Streets.

Have dinner at one of Collingwood’s great restaurants or buy dinner at the market, then shop the other vendors for all the best in produce, meat, baked goods, artisanal foods, crafts and artwork. The market employs the 100-mile market mantra and all of the produce is grown within 100 miles of Collingwood.

The market isn’t just about shopping either! There will be a number of entertainers for adults and kids. Jimmy and the Extractions, a local Collingwood band favourite will be there to play rock, alternative, and folk music. The Stilt Guys (who you may have seen at the Collingwood Elvis Festival) will be there as well, in glow-in-the-dark attire, to keep both adults and kids entertained.  

U-Pick Parties will have some balloon twisting and face painting for the kids (and the adults if you dare). There will be free (healthy!) treats from The Healthy Kids Community Challenge, an initiative that helps kids move, drink water and up their fruit and veggie intake with a number of great activities. If that isn’t enough, kids can play at the Imagination Playground, a block-based creative play system that kids love. The Mobile Active Play Trailer will also be there, offering free recreational activities for kids of all ages.

The regular market closes down after Thanksgiving weekend, so there isn’t much more time to enjoy this seasonal delight. Get out next weekend and check out the Moonlight Market, and revel in this time of harvest before the snow puts a damper on it!


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