How to Find and Use U-Pick Berry Farms
Chances are there is a U-Pick berry farm near you just waiting for you to go enjoy it.
Check the ASAP guide to see if there is a farm in your vicinity. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and other U-Pick crops can usually be found within 45 minutes driving distance.
Because fruits of this size are labor intensive to pick, many of these farms prefer for their customers to come pick their own. It saves the farm from having to hire as many workers, and it saves you money! You’ll know for certain your harvest is as fresh as possible and you’ll have an even greater appreciation for it when you eat it.
One of the most common crops in this area are blueberries. There are many different varieties, but one of the most common in warmer regions are rabbiteye blueberries. They grow tall and bear heavy crops of sweet, juicy fruit. Be sure to ask the farmer if there is a section of the field that is likely to be less picked over so that you’ll have an easy time harvesting.
Blackberries are a crop that many people go and collect from the wild, but the benefit of farm-grown blackberries is the size and flavor. Improved cultivars produce berries that can be as large as golf balls and they are melt-in-your-mouth sweet! Many commercial varieties are also bred to be thornless. Between this delightful feature and the well-spaced farm rows you should come home with fewer scratches and chigger bites than stomping through the brambles of an overgrown pasture.
Most U-Pick farms provide you with baskets, but it is a nice idea to bring your own recycled containers if you have them. Some farms will offer you a discount if you bring your own container.
The photos shown here are of The Happy Berry in Six Mile, SC. Whichever farm you choose, it is best to arrive as early in the day as the farm will permit. You are sure to get a good harvest at a farm this size no matter what time of day you get there, but the early bird gets the easiest pickings.