Sherbrooke, August 30, 2021 – Even though summer is almost over, with fall just around the corner, the touristic season is far from over in the region! With harvest season in full swing, the coming weeks will be an opportunity for tourists and residents alike to enjoy the many agritourism attractions and gourmet products for which the region is renowned.
Food lovers and locavores have a wide choice of gourmet treats and activities to satisfy their palates. They can buy produce directly from food producers or from the Townships’ many farmers markets, sample local beer in our microbreweries, tour a winery (and sip a glass imbued with the local terroir!), enjoy a meal in an upscale restaurant or in a cozy, village café… The list goes on.
The following is an overview of everything there is to do during this ‘season of abundance’.
It’s not too late to pick your own produce!
As soon as the leaves start to turn, most people know that’s the time to pick apples, pumpkins and squash but it’s still not too late to harvest other crops, namely, sea buckthorn, plums, chokeberries (aronia), pears, grapes and some varieties of vegetables. A number of U-Pick farms continue to operate well into the fall. For more detailed information, take a look at the calendrier des récoltes put together by the Créateurs de saveurs (a network of regional food producers) or our article describing places to find local produce.
The winemakers are getting into gear
The grape harvest is fast approaching! This season, the fruit is abundant and the winemakers are busy testing sugar levels to determine the ideal time to pick the grapes and what quantities need to be harvested. Some wineries offer activities themed around the grape harvest, while others welcome volunteers who want to ‘play winemaker’ by participating in the picking. Discover those of the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route. Elsewhere in the region, it is also possible to get hands-on experience at Vignoble d'Orford and La Halte des Pèlerins de Sherbrooke.
A feast of colour and flavours at the farmers markets
Fresh, high-quality produce is the hallmark of our region and a visit to any one of our 30 farmers markets will prove to you that this is no idle boast…A feast of colour and flavours, the markets are overflowing with an abundance of fruit and vegetables that look almost too good to eat!
The artisans who are part of the Têtes Fromagères (a cheese route) welcome visits from members of the public. Dotted throughout the Eastern Townships, the 15-member artisanal cheesemakers offer a range of unusual cheeses made from the milk of cows, sheep and goats. Not surprisingly, many of these unique cheeses have won major awards.
At a number of establishments, visitors can say hello to the animals as they munch their way around the fields, which are typically situated close to a boutique. You might even get to chat to one of the cheesemakers whose passion for their craft is evident as they urge you to sample their delicious produce!
Picnics and panoramas
Few places offer better al fresco dining than the Eastern Townships! Blessed with magnificent scenery and excellent local produce, the region lends itself to enjoying an intimate picnic with your significant other or a gathering with family and friends. Here are seven places with great views, that certainly fit the bill.
Can’t be bothered to cook?
That’s not a problem in the Townships! For our chefs, regional food is a source of pride. They love to incorporate local ingredients on their menus, often grown in their own gardens. There are many places where you can sample their dishes without having to prepare food yourself – on a terrasse, in a café de village at a microbrasserie or one of the many gourmet restaurants in the region.
Défi 100% Local – easy peasy in the Townships!
Throughout the month of September, people are being invited to participate in the province-wide Défi 100 % Local, created by the Tables de concertation bioalimentaire du Québec, an organization that promotes local food and eco-friendly farming.
Given the wide selection of regional produce that is available, as well as its many agritourism attractions, the Townships certainly has the edge over some of the other regions….. It’s pretty easy for foodies and locavores to live up to the challenge of the Défi 100 % Local! In addition to the suggestions mentioned above, our website has an entire section devoted to food and beverages. Click on the dossier spécial.
Don't forget to pack your picnic basket and cooler!