Hometown travel: Harvest time in the Annapolis Valley

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” This song gets dragged out to celebrate everything from Christmas to back-to-school shopping. For my money, the most wonderful time of the year is the Annapolis Valley during the harvest season.

Everything that’s beautiful about autumn in Eastern Canada is on full display. For the best view, I made sure to go up to the Look Off in Canning, and noticed this dramatic seam of colour across the floor of the valley.

Annapolis Valley leaves

Kentville’s Harvest Festival

To kick off the harvest season properly, I headed down to Kentville’s Harvest Festival with my Dad on Saturday morning to take in the festivities and learn how to make my own Pumpkin Person. There were local farmers present, so I got to take in an overwhelming selection of homemade jams and jellies and got to see a gourd made into a duck.

Kentville Nova Scotia Harvest Festival jams and jellies

Kentville Nova Scotia Harvest Festival farmers

Kentville Nova Scotia Harvest Festival gourd animals

At the stroke of 11 AM, the Pumpkin People supply giveaway started and the people rejoiced. You see, the Pumpkin People of Kentville take over the town for the month of October to help everyone get in the harvest-festive mood. The giveaway featured all of the essential components: old clothes (for stuffin’), corn stalks (internal structure), hay (the stuffin’ itself), and a pumpkin for a head (bien sûr).

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People Supply Giveaway

This fellow was a Pumpkin People-making machine. He was churning out corn stalk internal structures like no one’s business.

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People Supply Giveaway

Meeting the Pumpkin People

Exhausted by the energy expended watching other people work, we set out to meet the Pumpkin People. Positioned in key locations around Kentville from end-to-end, this year’s theme of “Lights, Camera, Pumpkins!” yielded lots of fun interpretations.

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People

Kentville Nova Scotia Pumpkin People

I love that Kentville loves Monsters Inc as much as I do.

Roadside produce

One of the great joys in living in the agricultural heartland of the province is driving around and stopping at random peoples’ houses to buy produce from their driveway. This is a thing and it’s done on the honour system.

Roadside driveway produce stand

Seriously, this is among the top things I miss about living in the country.

Roadside driveway produce stand

Harvest fun on the farm

If you’re city folk like me (me now, not me growing up), spending a day on the farm is a great way to get back to nature, learn where your food comes from, and get loaded up on fresh, seasonal produce. These days, a trip to the farm market is a full-on harvest experience, with U-Pick apples, pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and tons more I’ve already forgotten.

Farm market pumpkins

Look! A picture-perfect ginger picking her perfect pumpkin!

Farm market U-Pick pumpkins

Some sort of water game which involved a lot of manual labour

Farm market fun

I made a repeat visit to see the mini horses. These guys have achieved local infamy after busting out of mini horse jail and going on a freedom run in the middle of the night. They are heroes to people with desk jobs everywhere.

Rebel mini horses

I wrote more (and took way more pictures) for Nova Scotia Tourism as well. If you want to see princesses, a full-sized Pumpkin Person, and a sneak peak at a ghost tour in a cemetery (which I’ll write about in more detail later this week), head over to NovaScotia.com.

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9 thoughts on “Hometown travel: Harvest time in the Annapolis Valley”

    1. They made me laugh. The folks at the market stand specifically directed me to it: “We made a gourd look like a duck with some feathers and googly eyes.” For no good reason, that was hilarious to me.

  1. Is that first shot the Blomidon Lookoff, or is there some other fabulous spot I need to discover ?

    Love the Pumpkin Festival, thanks for the reminder that I must go check it out.

    1. Yes, it’s from the Look Off in the Blomidon area, near the campground/mini golf/ice cream place. You definitely need to get to the Pumpkin Fest, there’s a lot going on beyond Kentville. Also, there are ghost tours going on throughout the month, I have a post coming up on Friday which talks about my experience in Kentville’s historic Oak Grove Cemetery.

  2. Awww awesome post! I was born in Kentville and this was my FAVOURITE thing growing up! The last time I was home for it was 2008, and I’ve been living in New Zealand since then, but next year we plan to drive across Canada west-east in the summer and I fully intend to stay home to enjoy this again before heading off!

    Thanks for depicting my favourite event in such a beautiful place at the best time of year. You may or may not’ve instigated a touch of homesickness, something I don’t get too often

    1. That sounds like an amazing adventure! I live in Halifax now, but I always go home over Thanksgiving just to see the Valley at harvest time. The colours are amazing and I love all of the roadside veg stands!

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