and Dana D
Ask me what one of my kids’ favorite things to eat is and the answer is easy – BERRIES! Particularly strawberries – I don’t think our fridge is ever without them. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is to take them strawberry picking. We had the pleasure of blueberry picking up in the mountains last year at a fantastic organic blueberry farm and Ryanne was eating them right off the bush! It was so much fun and the berries tasted remarkably better than store-bought. Perhaps it was more a mental thing since we had such pride in eating our hand-picked berries, but they were delicious all the same. This year I definitely want to take them strawberry picking and when I did a search for good local spots, low and behold, our dear friend Dana did a fabulous post on it last spring! So I thought it would be most appropriate to re-share this great research she did:
Rumble and ramble in blackberry jamble. Yes, we LOVE our Jamberry book. This has been one of the boys’ favorites. It is so much fun to read this classic and then take the kids for some good ole berry picking. I was lucky to grow up out in the country where we had blueberries, blackberries and raspberries growing all over. My dad always planted a bunch of strawberries as well. If you aren’t lucky enough to have these growing in your back yard then you must take advantage of the “pick your own” farms. I will list several here but please visit the following link for a more detailed list of farms. They are listed by county. I want to focus on ORGANIC “pick your own” but to be honest there aren’t really any in Mecklenburg County. So I will post some that are the closest to us. I even think this is worthy of a small road trip for the family. The strawberry farms were a bit further than I wanted to travel. We will have better luck with the organic blueberries in regards to location.
So here I am weighing the benefits of organic versus four hours total driving time (and more pollution). Local Springs Farm won by a close margin. The thought of two grumpy three year olds in the car for four hours that day was not too enticing. It also doesn’t hurt that Springs Farm has killer homemade strawberry ice cream. This is a total treat for us. Here it goes and don’t forget to check out the tips for making jams on the site. We make jam every year and it is so much better than buying at the store. FYI, you will not find any fruit pectin or jars at EarthFare at Morrison. I asked and the guy said I could find it in a more “rural areas”, not too many people in Southpark are doing that sort of thing.” I love Earth Fare but I thought that comment was pretty funny…Oh, and yes, you can find it at Harris Teeter.
Pick your Own NC Farms
You might want to check out the farms in SC, since Springs is in Fort Mill. McCleod’s in McBee, SC follows organic methods and is only 1 hour 30 minutes from Charlotte.
Pick your Own SC Farms
Remember to always call ahead and make sure that “pick your own” is available. A lot of the farms will close for pick your own if they were over picked the day or weekend before. Strawberries are in season now. Blueberries in June, Blackberries in July and Raspberries in July/August. Time of harvest may vary by region.
– Beans-n-Berries, Conelly Springs, NC 828-403-6989- blackberries, blueberries, veggies.
– Blueberry Hill Farm, Zirconia, NC, 828-696-8357- blueberries
– Iseley Farms, Burlington, NC, 336-584-3323- strawberries, vegetables, flowers
– Garden Gate Vineyards, Mocksville, NC, 336-751-3794- grapes
– Asheville Farm, Leicester, NC, 828-515-0177 – chemical free fruits
– Shunshot Organics, Burnsville, NC, 828-215-8391- blackberries and blueberries
– Hall’s Berry Farm, Advance, 336-998-7246- blueberries
– Reich’s Blueberries, Winston Salem, 336-764-4748- blueberries
– McLeod’s, McBee, SC, 843-335-8335- strawberries, peaches and more
– Hall’s Berry Farm, Advance, NC, 336-998-7346- blueberries
– Carrigan Farms, Mooresville, NC, 704-664-1450- strawberries, vegetables,
– Springs Farm, Fort Mill, SC, 803-548-3939 -strawberries
– Hall Family Farm, Providence Road West (Ballantyne area), 704-562-4021- strawberries
– Hunter Farm, Weddington, NC, 704-846-7975- strawberries
– Kildeer Farm, Kings Mountain, NC, 704-739-6602- strawberries
– Spake Strawberries, Shelby, NC , 704-487-9933- strawberries
Remember, this is just a SAMPLE of all the farms listed. If you have a favorite, please comment and tell us what you like about that particular farm. Thanks for reading!
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Thank you so much for posting the organic farms!! We had a great one near our home in Wake Forest, and thought we had found one here. Unfortunately after picking 3 baskets last weekend, I overheard the farmer talking to a customer and said that they sprayed the berries with a pesticide that would go away after two days. He went on to say that they close for those two days. Maybe it's gone in two days, but I don't want to take that risk!!
We picked strawberries at Springs in Fort Mill today. PLENTY of berries still and they are huge! Little disappointed that they are not as sweet this year as in years past.
my double batch jam recipe calls for 12 cups of strawberries and though i love picking I could not do all that concentrated pesticide …very expensive decision was to buy them at Earth Fare which i hated doing. thanks for this list, i'll drive 90 minutes next time.
I just gave McLeod’s Farm a call to check on pick-your-own berries for tomorrow. I double-checked the organic status since it wasn't listed on their website. The woman on the phone said she didn't know, so I asked her is they sprayed their crops, and she said they do. 🙁 Just wanted to pass the word along. Thanks so much for this post – it's definitely been a big help!
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