Skip to content

Fall’s Bounty 2023: Harvest season is a big time of year for Hidden Valley Garden

A special supplement to Black Press Media central Alberta newspapers
Hidden Valley Garden is located outside of Sylvan Lake in Red Deer County. (Facebook phtoto/Hidden Valley Garden Experience)

For the owners of Hidden Valley Garden, located outside of Sylvan Lake, harvest season is a busy one.

To celebrate this season Hidden Valley Garden holds an annual Harvest Festival event.

While the event started out as just a day where the remaining produce in the garden would be harvested, customers were later invited to join, said owner Jamie Kreutz.

“From there, we added the pumpkin patch, fire pit and tractor rides to make it a full family fun event.”

While the event is full of fun to wrap up the season it’s also to encourage customers to stock up on winter storage produce, she added.

“During the event we mechanically harvest root vegetables and offer them at a discounted price to encourage bulk purchases.”

While Hidden Valley Garden has grown over the years it originally started with just the Saskatoon berry orchard in 1996.

“The garden didn’t go in until 2005. My parents Jim and Lesley Hill then ran it as a u-pick and sold at the farmers market for about 10 years,”Kreutz said.

In 2018, when Kreutz and her husband took over the farm, the offerings were expanded to include the farm store, other local vendors, a CSA program and more.

“When Justin and I joined, we added a larger farm store and started offering a more consistently stocked store with a selection of other local foods,” she said

The u-pick, which is still done at Hidden Valley Garden today, originally started as a retirement project for the Hills.

“Each year as demand increased additional acres would be added into production,” Kreutz said.

Gardens like Hidden Valley Garden help people to connect with how food is produced, Kreutz added.

“Having a garden and growing your own food takes space and time that a lot of people don’t have, so u-pick farms like ours gives everyone the opportunity to experience food production first hand.”

Supporting local farms also helps keep food production local, she added.

“Buying directly from farms allows customers to meet who is growing their food and see how and where it is grown.”

While 2023 harvest season is coming to an end there are many exciting things to look forward to for next year.

“We will be offering a strawberry u-pick in 2024.”

This article is part of Black Press Media’s award-winning special supplement publication, “Fall’s Bounty 202: A salute to central Alberta farmers and harvest.” The pullout section was published in print editions at the end of September. Find more Fall’s Bounty 2023 stories here.

Sarah Baker

About the Author: Sarah Baker

I joined Black Press in March 2023 and am looking forward to sharing stories about the local communities.
Read more