Local U-Pick Berry Farms for Summer Fun

By Renee Castro

By Taylor McLamb

My fridge is always stocked with an assortment of fresh, vibrant strawberries and blueberries. As someone with a sweet tooth, I love to indulge on nature’s very own candy, which makes the perfect, colorful addition to a bowl of oatmeal, a smoothie, salad or you can do what I do, which is eat them directly from the container. While you can always buy your berries from a store, to get a more intimate experience, you can purchase them directly from the source at a local farm or you can even pick them yourself. Picking berries is the perfect way to spend a day with your family, while getting the benefit of choosing fresh, locally-grown berries and supporting trustworthy farmers in the process. Here is a list of nearby farms that offer this experience. Have fun pickin’ and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

            Wachahoota Farms- 1017 SW 136th Pl Micanopy, FL

Delicious and rich in antioxidants, blueberries pack a serious nutritional punch. We’re currently in peak blueberry season, so grab a bucket and head out to Wachahoota Farms, where you can find acres full of plump, fresh blueberries. Wacahoota Farms are open Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., where you can fill a 6-pound bucket of blueberries for $20.

            Rogers Farm- 3831 NW 156th Ave., Gainesville, FL

Enjoy some sweet, ripe strawberries while supporting a local, family-owned farm that, according to their website, has been operating in Gainesville for over 30 years. Rogers Farms’ Strawberry U-Pick is open from Tuesday until Saturday, at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., so pick a time in your week to spend a day exploring their abundant, strawberry fields. According to an article by WUFT News, Roger’s Farm has installed a wheelchair and handicap portion for their fields, making it more easily accessible for everyone to enjoy the experience of strawberry picking.

            Red, White, & Blues Farm- 3250 NE 140th Ave, Williston, FL

Only 25 minutes away from Gainesville, you can enjoy filling up a bucket of irresistible blueberries at a family-owned and operated farm. If you get hungry from pickin,’ you can grab a snack at their onsite café, where you can enjoy baked goods made from scratch, blueberry candy and explore the gift shop. The farm is open from Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. through 4 p.m., where the blueberries are $5 per pound. Red, White & Blues Farm will provide you with all the tools you need, a bucket, a harness to hold the bucket and a take-home container, to make the most out of your experience.

            Brown’s Farm- 18120 NE State Road 26, Orange Heights, FL

Take a short trip to Orange Heights, where you can pick your own strawberries at a family-owned farm that has been serving their community since 1959. Brown’s Farm offers strawberry picking from Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Strawberries are perfect for any time of the day so make sure to grab as many as you can carry, as they only cost $2 per pound.

 

            Aunt Zelma’s Blueberries- 21209 U.S. 301, Island Grove, FL

Venture out to Island Grove and visit Aunt Zelma’s Blueberries, where you can pick from a variety of seven types of blueberries, located on the gorgeous property owned by the Hadley Family since the 1800s. While Aunt Zelma’s Blueberries are open seven days a week, blueberry picking is available Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Invite your whole family and enjoy a weekend stocking up on blueberries for only $4 a pound.