It’s that time of year when Washington’s blueberry crop is just about ready to harvest. If your kid crew has never picked berries before, blueberries are one of the easiest berries to pick—no thorns and the ripe ones just roll off the bushes. And with more than 40 blueberry farms across our state, and dozens within a short drive of Seattle, it’s easy to fill your bucket (and your belly) with this favorite summertime fruit. From Arlington to Enumclaw, we’ve hand-picked 11 organic and natural U-pick blueberry farms for your family to try.
Blue Dog Farm
Perfect For: Dawn ’til dusk access to bulk amounts of berries
Located in the quaint farming town of Carnation, the folks at Blue Dog are serious about their organic blueberries; they even have a membership-driven concept to better support their sustainable and organic farming practices. This is a great option for folks who want frequent access to lots of berries all season long. As a member ($30 annual fee or $25 before July 1) you get to come any day you want, dawn ’til dusk, and pick to your heart’s content at the self-service farm. (You’ll still pay by the pound, but you get to pick anytime you like and in the quiet and calm of a tranquil farm almost all to yourself!). Sign up to become a member at the farm on your first day of picking or by email. Memberships cover your family and friends, so invite your berry-picking buddies. Psst! Early evening berry picking is the best – bring a blanket and pack a picnic dinner.
Cost: $3.10/lb (members also pay $30 annual fee). Checks or Paypal only.
Hours: Members can pick daily, dawn ’til dusk.
Dates: Early July–end of season
7125 W. Snoqualmie Valley Rd.
Carnation, Wa 98014
Blue Dot Farm
Perfect For: A well-manicured park-like picking experience
Not to be confused with the previous and similarly-named blueberry farm, Blue Dot Farm is newer to the Puget Sound blueberry scene (they are based south of Seattle in Enumclaw) and also managed organically. This pastoral farm features over 16 varieties of blueberries to pick from, including some of the largest varietals and a few still under patent. Also unique to Blue Dot is that you buy your U-pick berries by the bucket size (large or small), not the pound. Pre-picked berries are also available, but call ahead to make sure your order is ready for you when you arrive.
Cost: $30/large bucket (11-12 lbs); $15/small bucket (5-6 lbs) for U-pick. $4/pint or $22/flat (6 pints) for pre-picked. Cash only.
Hours: Call ahead prior to coming as picking dates/times depend on berry ripeness.
Dates: Early July–end of season
21010 S.E. 416th St.
Enumclaw, Wa 98022
Bow Hill Blueberries
Perfect For: Locavores looking for a day trip
Hailed as the oldest family-run blueberry farm in the Skagit Valley, Bow Hill Blueberries (located between Mt. Vernon and Bellingham) are certified naturally grown. Bow Hill is officially a "transitional organic farm,” meaning they abide by all the strictest organic farming practices and completed their transition to certified organic in 2014. The farm store is open year-round and it's where you can find pickled blueberries, jam, vinegar and sauces as well as dried blueberries - all produced in small batches at the farm. Psst... Bow Hill’s neighbors at Lopez Island Creamery make their delectable Heirloom Blueberry Ice Cream from the farm's berries as well as Evolve Chocolates in Bellingham uses their blueberries to make their delicious Bon Bons.
Cost: $2.95/lb (cash, check, Visa & Mastercard accepted); pre-pick berries vary in price according to quantity. Five pound half flats range from $10-$40; frozen berries are a little more.
Hours: Fri.-Sun.,10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dates: July 8–mid-Sept.
Good to Know: A $5 Grazing Pass gives you access to the fields where you can eat as much as you want. The pass price is refunded once you pick over 10 pounds – which takes about 30-45 minutes. The passes help support the you-pick operation and staffing. The farm also offers family passes for $15 for up to five family members.
15628 Bow Hill Rd.
Bow, Wa 98232
Broers Farms Inc.
Perfect For: Families who want to mix and match their berries
Nestled into the fertile countryside in Monroe, Broers Farms is a berry-lovers dream come true; that goes double if you like your berries 100% organic. (They’ve been certified organic for 25 years!). At Broers, the whole family is welcome to pick in their fields of raspberries, blackberries, marionberries and of course, blueberries. Psst... raspberry fields are about a mile from the farm, so groups are organized and escorted out. Be sure to wear long sleeves and pants if you’re venturing away from blueberry patches; the rest can have a few brambles.
Cost: $3/lb for U-pick blueberries; $2.50/lb for U-pick raspberries and marionberries
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., but change daily. Check their Facebook page for available picking dates and times which are updated daily.
Dates: early July – mid-Sept.
18228 Tualco Rd.
Monroe, Wa 98272
Bryant Blueberry Farm
Perfect For: Kids!
With goats, chickens, a playground, picnic area, giant jumping pillow, barrel train ride and two great summer festivals (Red Rooster Route and the Bryant Blueberry Festival), Bryant Blueberry Farm gets the family-friendly award for sure. Their juicy blueberries are grown with sustainable agricultural methods, as are their currents, tayberries (a hybrid of blackberries and raspberries), raspberries and beautiful U-cut flowers. And, if your kiddos get totally pooped out with all the pony rides and duck-chasing, you can always cheat and buy a few flats of pre-picked natural berries to take home. You may even get talked into bringing a blueberry plant home, so you can U-pick at home next year!
Cost: $2.50/lb for U-pick; pre-picked berries available at market price in flats (12 pints), half-flats (6 pints) or pints. $3/pound for U-pick tayberries.
Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays; 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Farm is open even when fields are closed, so call ahead if you want to pick.
Dates: July 6–late August
Good to Know: Pre-orders are welcome. Frozen berries are available year-round, subject to availability.
Perfect For: Families who want stunning scenery with their picking experience
Located approximately two miles from North Bend, at the base of Mt. Si, is where you will find Bybee Farms. This family farm, currently owned by Steve and Jayne Bybee, has been in their family since 1946 and it’s where you will find 42 acres of farmland and six varieties of U-pick blueberries including Stanley, Dixi, Pemberton, Jersey, Blue Ray, and Blue Corp, plus some raspberries and fresh picked vegetables from mid-July to mid-September. The farm is not certified organic, but they do not use pesticides or herbicides and only spray for a fungus in the winter before the branches on their blueberry bushes start to even leaf and bud out. The farm also practices safe and sustainable farming methods and have for over 70 years, so you can rest assured that when you come out to the fields the berries in your bucket will have no sprays whatsoever on them. Pretty cool, huh?! Psst… be on the lookout for the elusive mountain goats (who like to make appearances) while you pick the biggest, freshest blueberries east of Seattle.
Good to Know: Call the recording (425-888-0821) for specific information about the crops including when they will be ready, price, weather closures, etc. You can also email or call 425-888-5745 before you come to the farm to check on weather and picking conditions. Also, no dogs are allowed in the blueberry fields, so you'll need to leave Fido at home.
Cost: $2.10/pound (cash or check only; bring $1 bills)
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. during blueberry season with hours possibly changing the further we go into the fall.
Dates: Approximately mid-July-mid-September
Perfect For: Families in search of a heritage experience
South-enders will love this Auburn-based blueberry farm that gained fame by selling their delicious blueberry products at Pike Place Market for over three decades. They retired from the Market in 2015, but still sell blueberry wine, chocolates and other unique blueberry products on site. Although not organic, Canter-Berry proudly limits their chemical use and does not spray their berries. Some of their bushes are over 50 years old, and you’ll be able to pick from eight different varieties of gorgeous jewel-toned fruit (including one that is even a little bit spicy!). Check their handy U-pick page after 6:30 p.m. daily to confirm their next picking day.
Good to Know: The farm provides buckets for you to pick into, but they ask that you bring boxes or other containers to take your berries home in.
Henna Blueberry Farm
Perfect For: Multi-taskers who want to see it all
Located in Fall City in the Snoqualmie River Valley (about 30 minutes north of Seattle), Henna Blueberry Farm grows ten varieties of the fruit including Reka, Duke and Bluecrop for you to pick from. Although not certified organic, Henna Blueberry farm doesn’t spray any synthetic pesticides or chemicals on their blueberry bushes. And, if you want some farm variety for your U-pick adventure as well, along the five-mile corridor of SR 203 that connects Fall City and Carnation, you’ll find Henna Blueberry Farm, and many other family-friendly farms, produce stands and U-pick spots, including the kid-tastic Remlinger Farms and great CSA at Oxbow Farm.
Cost: $2.70/lb for U-pick; $3.95/lb for pre-picked (cash or check only)
Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Call ahead to make sure berries are available. Farm is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
Dates: July 1–mid-Aug.
Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm
Perfect For: Pickers short on time
This super conveniently located farm has been operated by the Bellevue Parks and Community Service Department since the 1940s. Sitting on land with a historic log cabin and trails in the Lake Hills Greenbelt, the spraying of chemicals and pesticides is minimized on the farm’s blueberry plants. Grab your buckets (provided) at Lake Hills Farm Fresh Produce stand, and after you’re done picking, you can grab a week’s worth of fresh produce there as well. Please bring a valid Washington state identification as a deposit for the picking buckets.
Cost: $1.50/lb (cash or checks only)
Hours: Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Mon. Hours vary; call ahead to confirm.
Dates: July 5–mid-September
700 148th Ave. S.E.
Bellevue, Wa 98007
Smith Creek Blueberry Farm
Perfect For: Kids who like farm animals
Nestled in a beautiful pocket of Smith Creek, just north of Raymond, Smith Creek Blueberry Farm is a small, owner-operated, all organically grown, family farm. The farm has a solid acre of 40-year-old U-pick and pre-picked blueberry bushes with some of our state’s biggest blueberries. In addition to blueberries bushes, expect to find lots of farm animals roaming around including over 60 happy chickens along with ducks, rabbits, tortoises, dogs, cats, milking goats and a burro. July through September, the farm store is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., selling fresh seasonal daily picked fruits and vegetables; all-natural farm eggs are sold year-round. Pre-pick berries are available if you order in advance.
Good to Know: Farm tours are available by reservation and request. Call or email email@example.com.
Cost: $2/lb for U-pick; $4/lb for pre-picked (2016 prices)
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Dates: Early July – mid-August
625 Smith Creek Rd.
Raymond, Wa 98577
Whitehorse Meadows Farm
Perfect For: A scenic day trip to the mountains (oh… and great blueberries)
Snuggled at the base of Whitehorse Mountain about 20 miles east of Arlington (approx. 1.5 hours from Seattle), this lovely scenic blueberry farm has three organic blueberry varietals (Spartans, Rubels and Jerseys) for you to pick from. Psst… they’ve also received the Salmon Safe certification for their stewardship practices. You can get their frozen berries and unique preserves (blueberry mango salsa, anyone?) at the farm and at select Snohomish County Haggen stores, or visit them at the Edmonds, Park Ridge (Bothell) and Lake Forest Park farmers markets.
Good to Know: The farm has picking buckets, but you will need to bring containers for carrying your fruit home.
Cost: $3/lb for U-pick; $4/lb for pre-picked
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Check their Facebook page for available picking dates, times and weather updates. Always closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Tips Before You Go:
1. What to bring: Bring berry buckets and some giant ziplock baggies to bring home your prize! Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, sturdy shoes and lots of water are also good to pack along. Most fields are in full sun, and sometimes you have to walk a while to find the perfect bushes. Be ready to be out in the sun for at least an hour.
2. Remember Sal and her mother. In the classic kids book, Blueberries For Sal, mom lets little Sal wander and she ends up having a bear cub encounter. Although you’re most likely safe from bears in all these fields, do keep a close eye on wandering tots. It’s easy for adventurous little ones to get disoriented in blueberry bushes that are taller than they are!
3. Bring cash or make sure that the farm accepts credit or checks.
4. Leave Fido at home. Most farms don’t allow dogs, and it’ll probably be too hot to keep him in the car.
5. Remember to always call ahead before you go picking since farm hours and schedules are constantly changing.
Editor’s note: The cool, wet spring and record rainfall have delayed many local harvests. Always call ahead before you go picking since farm supply, hours and schedules are constantly in flux.
Where does your family like to go for U-pick blueberries? Do you have any tips for making the trek with little ones easy? Tell us in the comments below!
— Abbey McGee, Katie Gruver & Kristina Moy