Georgia is ripe with u-pick berry patches, and you can’t beat an afternoon on the farm for some fresh family fun. April through June are prime strawberry season, while July and August are better for blueberries and blackberries. This season’s crop of favorite farms are laden with bounty, as well as certified perks—including clean potties, playgrounds, pony rides, and some with pesticide-free policies—for your pint-sized pickers. Read on for more about our favorite fields for fun.
Photo: Elizabeth via flickr
The Rock Ranch
Yes, this oasis of family fun founded by the Chick-fil-A’ family also offers fresh produce Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. U-pick berries range from $2 a pound (muscadines and scuppernongs), $3 a pound (strawberries and blackberries), $4 a pound (raspberries), or buy a pound of pre-picked for just $3.50 a pound if the kids are already tuckered out from playing in Tiny Town. Don’t miss their annual Strawberry Festival on April 23rd that marks the start of strawberry season (or the homemade strawberry ice cream, which you can now buy in take-home containers). Ranch hours vary during the summer so call first if you plan to make a day of it and enjoy all the farm fun.
Address: 5020 Barnesville Hwy., The Rock
Photo: Southern Belle Farm via flickr
Southern Belle Farm
Enjoy Southern Belle’s five acre berry patch Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. Fill a gallon bucket for $12 or purchase a pre-picked bucket for $14. Strawberry season is expected to begin in April, with additional crops ripening through the summer (be sure to call ahead and see how each crop’s season is shaping up because some seasons are better than others). Kids will love the jumping pillow available on the weekends, petting zoo, and homemade treats like funnel cakes or strawberry shortcake from the concession stand.
Address: 1658 Turner Church Rd., McDonough
Photo: Patrick via flickr
Offering a “Farm Fun Park” that includes a petting zoo, corn crib, inflatable slides, bounce house and playground set, this u-pick has the market cornered on farm fun. Other perks include live bluegrass music and “hey” rides (pricing for Family Fun Park is $9 per child under age 12). Strawberry pricing and picking hours for 2016 are still pending as of publication time; however, 2015 hours were Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 6 p.m. Check here for updates to pricing and hours.
Address: 5555 Crow Rd., Cumming
Photo: Mauka-Makai via flickr
Located in Blue Ridge, Mercier Orchard is a family owned and operated apple orchard now in it’s 4th generation that also offers u-pick hours on weekends beginning in mid-April for strawberries, and contenting through the fall as other crops (berries, peaches, and apples) ripen. Containers are provided and you can pick up sweet extras like on-site made honey and jam. All trips to Mercier Orchard’s u-pick fields include a tractor ride to the field.
Address: 8660 Blue Ridge Dr., Blue Ridge
Photo: Amanda Smith via flickr
Berry Patch Farms
This Cherokee County blueberry patch begins its season in July and runs through August offering u-pick hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the week, while the berries last. Their berries are pesticide-free so your little pickers can enjoy eating them right from the bush. With a playground area for kids to blow off steam before loading back in the car, this family-friendly farm makes the road trip easy as (blueberry) pie.
Address: 786 Arnold Mill Rd., Woodstock
Photo: Heather Sunderland via flickr
Fleeman’s Blueberry Farm
Fleeman’s offers clean potties, a picnic table under the shade of an old oak and eight varieties of Rabbit-Eye, pesticide-free blueberries perfect for little pickers. Prices are $11 for a gallon of u-pick or $20 a gallon for pre-picked. Fleeman’s is open Tuesday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 4 to 6 p.m.
Address: 716 Harrison Mill Rd., Winder
Photo: DQMountaingirl via flickr
Harry Stacy Farms
You can count on picking up fresh strawberries from Harry Stacy Farms every weekend at the Marietta Farmer’s Market, but why not take the trip to Dallas to pick some perfect berries yourself? The season begins mid-April and will run until the berries are picked out, and pricing per gallon is typically around $10 per gallon (prices and hours for the 2016 season have yet to be set, but check here for updates).
Address: 623 Poplar Rd., Dallas
Photo: Michael Bentley via flickr
Remember to always call ahead since farm hours and crop availability are constantly in flux. Also note that many farms are cash only so hit the bank before hitting the road!
Let us know where your family goes to u-pick! Any tips for making the trek to these farms?
—Phebe Wahl & Shelley Massey