Harvest Hosts is an incredibly unique RV membership program. Through this program, members are granted access to 2459+ host locations across North America for overnight accommodations with no camping fees. To support each of these businesses, members typically make a small purchase at the business that hosts them. Locations include establishments such as farms, wineries, breweries, museums, restaurants, attractions, and more. Ontario Orchards in beautiful Oswego, New York, is an amazing example of one of our awesome hosts. This incredible farm has a ton of diverse offerings throughout the year and really stands out. Continue on to learn all about this location, its history, the business today, and its joining of the Harvest Hosts program.
The story of Ontario Orchards began when Dennis Ouellette began selling apples apples and strawberries roadside with his parents when he was just six years old. Years later, in 1965, he and his wife June converted an old, two-story barn into the farm store that is still in operation to this day. From the very beginning, Ontario Orchards sold their own fruit, vegetables, and trees, along with goods from other local farmers. Eventually, they expanded to include a bakery, a cider mill, and a nursery, in addition to the market. In more recent years, Dennis and June’s daughters and their own children have begun to help run the business. Together, they have all contributed many fantastic ideas to the operation.
The Business Today
Today, Ontario Orchards continues to thrive as one of North America’s most complete, family-owned farms and farm market in the country. In addition to apples, they grow sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, squash, pumpkins, gourds, raspberries, and Christmas trees each year. Most farm markets are open only in the summer and fall when there crops are harvested. However, Ontario Orchards stands out by being open everyday but Christmas. Advertising, promotions throughout the year, and fantastic customer service have extended the customer base by over 100 miles. Meanwhile, the business continues to grow each year. In the past decade, they have added a Fall Jamboree, U-Pick apples and pumpkin operations, and U-cut Christmas trees. In addition, they continue to encourage agritourism and school trips to help educate people in their community.
More recently, Ontario Orchards has been offering an online store with seasonal items and gift baskets for sale. These gift baskets consist of combinations of many of the fantastic items that are also sold in their farm store, such as locally-sourced cheese, jerky, sauces, condiments, pickled vegetables, pet products, spices and herbs, garden supplies, baked goods, and more. In the coming years, the Ouellettes plan to improve their facilities even further, while continuing to work on upgrading and promoting New York State Products on their website and growing the ever-popular Fall Jamboree at their farm in Sterling.
Joining Harvest Hosts
Ontario Orchards joined the Harvest Hosts program just over two years ago. Since then, they have hosted countless satisfied guests, inviting them to park beside the apple orchards for the night. This makes for a rather serene and peaceful experience. In addition to the wonderful farm store, U-pick operations, and seasonal festivals, they also offer a picnic area, hiking opportunities, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Fair Haven Beach State Park and the Sterling Renaissance Fair are both within close proximity, offering additional local adventures to accompany your stay. Currently, they offer four pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size.
Ontario Orchards perfectly displays the excellence of the Harvest Hosts experience. Here, guests of all ages experience something new with each and every visit. Be sure to stop by on your next trip through upstate New York!
Have you visited Ontario Orchards? Have you ever spent time near any of America’s five great lakes? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
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