While fall is peeking around the corner, we still have another month left of berry picking season. Hit one of these favorite farms for a day to remember and snack to enjoy later. We love these choices because they also have us thinking ahead to planning our fall festivities—pumpkin patch anyone? Read on to find out how to enjoy the last days of summer and prep for the most fun fall yet!
photo: kendra via Flickr
If picking organic is a priority for you and your pickers, Bella Organic right right up your row. A 100 acre certified organic farm, this spot on Sauvie Island is run on 100% solar energy. Visit t May 12 through early November for over 70 varieties of berries, fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Stop by the store for already-picked produce and other specialty items like jam, pickles, and syrups. Bella supplies buckets and wagons for hauling your berries back from the fields. Partnering with Buddha Kat Winery they also have a tasting wine, cider, and brew at the farm. This spot is also known for its pumpkin patch and corn maze in the fall!
Berries (as of Aug. 8): blueberries and blackberries
U-pick open daily Jun-Sept. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
16205 NW Gillihan Rd.
photo: Ruby Fenn via flickr
While this farm is usually ripe for picking, they’ve declared their berry picking season almost over for the year as of July 23. However you and your kids will still enjoy the trip if you choose to hunt for the last of the season. This spot also hosts summer concerts, has local food and beer, and is home to a farm store full of produce. Change it up by picking up some cucumbers to pickle! Currently, they are harvesting beets, beans, lettuce, zucchini squash and yellow squash.With wagons to haul your treasures back, they make it easy for the whole family to have tons of fun together.
Berries (as of Aug. 8) are almost gone but you can still hunt for the following: raspberry, marionberry, blueberry, boysenberry and blackberry
Open daily 9 a.m.-8 p.m. including holidays
17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd.
photo : Suzie’s Farm via flickr
This farm gives you the opportunity to take care of summer festivities and to start planning ahead for fall! Visit this 80-acre farm in the fall for late-variety blueberries, raspberries, pumpkins, and other fall treats. Opened in the 1990s, they grow more than 15 varieties of berries. The farm practices thoughtful growing practices like integrated pest management and crop rotation. Besides bringing your own container for picking (encouraged) grab a picnic for lunch under the gazebo, and enjoy a day on this quiet working farm.
Open in the fall Fri. – Sun. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
21024 NW Gillihan Rd.
photo: Ben Richards via flickr
This Hillsboro farm specializes in “no spray” berries, and growing over 20 varieties of them, including triple crown blackberries. They’ll point you to the best ripe fields for your visit, and provide buckets for picking. Look forward to fall varieties of raspberries, tomatoes and peppers, plus apples and pears. Plan ahead for their Heirloom Apple Festival featuring live music, apple-themed food, and activities ripe for families.
Berries (as of Aug. 8): raspberry, marionberry, blueberry, boysenberry and blackberry (Triple Crown)
Photo: Charlie Shirtz via Flickr
Providing families with goods since 1919 this fourth generation farm usually offers ripe strawberries, blueberries, marionberries, raspberries and thornless blackberries. Back at the farm store, already picked produce and canned goods are on sale. Hay rides and pygmy goats give an extra boost of fun for the kids! Check out their corn maze and pumpkin patch in the fall. Like other farms listed here their pickling cucumbers are coming soon plus fresh dill and broccoli!
Berries (as of Aug. 8): blueberry and blackberry
Hours: u-pick closed on Mon. call for hours as weather has been a factor
15801 SW Roy Rogers Rd.
photo: Suzie’s Farm via flickr
This smaller farm just 20 miles south of Portland is a nice escape from the bustle of Sauvie Island. Kids can also see the baby chicks, and feed the chickens after filling up their berry buckets (bring your own for this farm!) Enjoy a picnic in their rustic picnic area and don’t forget to take home some home-made jams or raw honey! If you love their berries (and we’re sure you’ll eat all of your own) you can visit them at your local Farmer’s Market.
Berries (as of Aug. 8): blueberries, boysenberries, marionberries, and blackberries
U-pick hours 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
29190 S. Barlow Rd.
Pick up the habit of using these pro-picking tips!
Check the weather. Some farms will hold hot weather hours meaning they open earlier and close earlier to save you from the heat.
Closing time. The time they close isn’t the same as when you can come in. Last entrance hours can vary and usually are 30 minutes before closing time, call or check websites for the farm you’re interested in.
Double check. Call ahead or check the website to ensure the fruits and veggies you’re after are in season and still available for picking. Plans to make a fresh blueberry pie, without the blueberries is one way to sour the day.
Stain, stain, go away. As a parent we know you’re well-versed in stains but this is a friendly reminder to wear clothing you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
Be as clean as you can. While kids are getting dirt in their nails and juice in their hair (well everywhere) it’s important to think clean. Thoroughly wash hands before and after you pick! And never eat unwashed fruit.
Get down and dirty. While we just talked about being clean, don’t be afraid to get dirty. Look beyond what you can see with your eyes, peek inside the bush or whatever plant you’re picking for some hidden gems. Remember to pick the place clean before moving on!
What about my pup? Each farm has different restrictions on animals, check online for the farm you’re choosing to visit.
Have you picked your favorite U-pick this season? Tell us about it.