Les Fruits du Poirier is working on more growth this year, after an exceptionally busy season in 2020.

“Last year was exceptional, because people had nowhere to go,” says Robert Poirier, owner of the popular pick-your-own farm located at 2535 Concession Road 3 in St-Eugéne. “On Saturdays the parking lot was full every week.”

A sudden frost in late May delayed the start of the pick-your-own season, pushing back the farm’s grand opening by a week, but haskap berries were in full season at the opening event on June 19. Haskap – a super-fruit with five times more phenols than blueberries, is in season until mid-July – as are black raspberries. Yellow and red raspberries will be in season until the end of July.

Eight varieties of gooseberries are also in season from the middle of July until mid-August, as are red and black currants and jostaberries.

Les Fruits du Poirier offers pick-your-own until mid-October, with different varieties coming into season throughout the year. A complete calendar of all of the fruits by season can be found on the main page of the Les Fruits du Poirier website https://lesfruitsdupoirier.com/.

In addition to the various berries available throughout the year, Les Fruits du Poirier has more than 350 fruit trees on the property, including apple, pear, and plum varieties. All of the produce grown on the farm has been carefully selected for its beneficial properties.

“All of the fruits we plant have health benefits,” Poirier explains. “Haskap, for example, is the fruit that contains the most antioxidants. We also have aronia, which is very good for preventing heart disease.”

Les Fruits du Poirer introduced a full kitchen on the property two years ago. The kitchen offers fresh, homemade pies of whatever fruits are in season at the time. Visitors can also purchase jellies, jams and chutneys, with the most popular being the currant varieties.

The pies are incomparable to a store-bought pie, with all natural ingredients, including butter and eggs in the crust.

“We use minimum sugar and we try to keep the fruit as natural as possible,” Poirer says proudly, noting the pies use four kilograms of fruit for each kilogram of sugar. “Everything we do is healthy.”

Les Fruits du Poirier’s property is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, where families can set up for lunch at one of the many gazebos and picnic spots. Regular visitors and families can purchase a membership for $40 for the season. The membership includes a t-shirt with the logo of the farm and a reusable bag.

Members can visit on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in addition to the weekends, and can reserve for picnics anytime of the year. More information on memberships can be found here https://lesfruitsdupoirier.com/membership ..

“As a member, you can come and enjoy your day any way you like,” Poirier says. “It’s like having a home away from home.”

Anyone who would like to plan a visit to Les Fruits du Poirier can call 613-402-3599. You can also visit the farm’s website or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lesfruitsdupoirier/ .

Dave Krawczyk and Westly Bennet had fresh pies ready for Les Fruits du Poirier’s grand opening on June 19. Photo by Reid Masson