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2016 Ultimate Berry Picking Guide

by Robin B 

 

This year’s Berry Picking Guide is brought to you by our Title Sponsor – Stokes Homestead Farm Market. Check out this family-owned Blueberry Farm and Farm Market offering seasonal fruits & vegetables from May to October. We thank them for their support of KZOOkids.com.

Stokes Homestead Farm Market -245 x 125-1-2

 

Is the summer berry picking trip a family tradition? Just an hour or two exploring one of the nearby Southwest Michigan farms open for berry picking can yield you a ripe reward! Check out our expanded list (including organic) for 2016 on where to find the juiciest berries around.

Quick tip: We’ve noticed a number of farms have the current information listed on their Facebook page. Make sure to follow them on Facebook for all the latest updates.

 

Berry Picking Farms

 

Stokes Homestead Farm Market –13988 County Road 215, Grand Junction, MI  49056

Hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Located 12 minutes from South Haven, Stokes Homestead offers U-pick Strawberries in June and U-pick blueberries mid-July through August. They have a U-pick wagon that will pick up families and drop them off in the fields. The wagon runs every day of the week, every half-hour, starting at 10:00 am.

Stokes Homestead Farm market has much to offer for the entire family. They have a full service Bakery and café, serving both breakfast and lunch.  Fun for the kids includes a tractor-pulled airplane ride and wagon rides, tire climb, corn kernel silo and the farm-yard playground.  June 25 and 26 is their annual strawberry JAMboree craft show with tons of activities. Follow Facebook for updated information.

 

Mandigo Farms, Inc. – 61077 41st Street, Paw Paw, MI 49079

Open in early June, daily from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Visit their Facebook page for updated opening information. Mandigo Farms is the perfect stop in early June for strawberries. The farm supplies containers and they offer U-pick or already picked strawberries. There are a few picnic tables at the farm if you want to pack a lunch.

 

Nottawa Fruit Farm – 24976 M 86, Centreville, MI 49032

Nottawa Fruit Farm offers U-pick Strawberries in early June.  The picking hours are Monday – Saturday from 7 a.m. – noon and Thur. and Fri. late afternoon from 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm. Note, these hours are separate from the store hours.   Berries are picked in store containers, so you will want to bring your own containers to take the strawberries. Nottawa has a wonderful farm market on-site with locally grown fruits/vegetables as well as bakery items. Stay a little longer and visit the Petting Farm.  Visit the website or Facebook page for updated information and activities.

 

Brookside Farms (Fritz’s Blueberries) – 34448 44th Avenue, Paw Paw, MI 49079

The store offers U-pick and already picked blueberries, a gift shop, snacks and refreshment stand and restrooms.  The farm typically opens the last weekend in June, but plan to call ahead to confirm hours or check Facebook. They are open until the end of August, weather and crop-dependent!  Plan to arrive early in the day to beat the heat.

The home farm has 350 acres planted with blueberries. In addition to the Paw Paw location, Brookside also has two other locations in Gobles and Martin.

 


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Sterling Acres Blueberry Farm – 6265 East QR Ave, Scotts, MI 49088

Sterling Acres is a family run blueberry farm located in Scotts, MI that offers U-pick blueberries. Depending on the crop and worker availability, they may have already-picked blueberries, sold in 5 or 10 pound boxes, for the 2016 season. The farm opens in mid to late July. The hours vary, so make sure to check Facebook for updated information.

 

Pleasant Hill Farm  – 5859 124th Ave. Fennville, MI 49408

(CERTIFIED ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES AND STRAWBERRIES)

Pleasant Hill Farm, located in Fennville, offers certified organic blueberries and strawberries, U-pick only. They do not have set hours but generally reserve Saturdays for U-pick. Other dates available are posted on their Facebook as well as phone/voicemail by calling (269) 561-2850.

Blueberry harvest season runs generally July 17th thru mid-August. Strawberries ripen in early June and run until around June 20th. A limited number of buckets are available, so make sure to bring your own container to transport berries home.

 

Earl’s Farm Market  – 1630 Blue Star Hwy   Fennville/Glenn, MI 49408

Earl’s Farm Market offers U-pick or already picked strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. They are open every day from 8:00 am – 8:00 p.m. Their market offers a variety of vegetables and a bakery complete with hand-dipped Sherman ice cream for those hot summer days. Visit Facebook for the latest offerings.

 

 

Hunt’s Hillside LLC – 27867 66th Ave., Lawton, MI

Hunt’s Hillside LLC is located on the southeast corner of 66th Ave & Co RD 657, about 2 miles northeast of Lawton and 4 miles southwest of Mattawan. They are a family-owned and operated farm that offers U-Pick and Pre-picked red raspberries beginning early July. Hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday – Sunday, closed on Mondays. Cash/check accepted. Call the Farm at 269-366-6264 or check Facebook.

 

Mitchell’s Blueberries – 19230 CR-681, Grand Junction, MI  49056

(CERTIFIED ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES)

Family- owned and operated since 1968 offering USDA Certified Organic Blueberries. U-pick available starting in August. The farm has restrooms and a picnic area. Cash/check only accepted.

 

Overhiser Orchards – 6405 109th Avenue, South Haven, Michigan 49090

Hours are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily from July 1 – October 31st.

Take the family on a drive and visit Overhiser Orchards, located 3 miles east off I-196 (exit 26), just north of South Haven. They offer picked and U-pick sweet and sour cherries, peaches, plums, pears, and apples. The Orchard has a small animal barn allowing hands on petting/feeding for the entire family to enjoy. Hay rides are also available from 1:00 -4:00 pm (leaving every half hour) or by appointment.  The U-pick season starts with Sweet and Tart Cherries in early July, followed by peaches and blueberries (August). Later in the season your family will enjoy picking pears and plums (early September) and Apples (mid-Sep-Oct 31).

New for 2016 – the farm is offering additional family fun by opening its private pond for fishing of Blue Gills, Large Mouth Bass and Perch (call ahead to make an appointment). Make sure to check out the latest updates on Facebook!

 

Husted’s Farm Market -9191 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

The Market is open June 1st – October from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Husted’s has u-pick strawberries, daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at their off-site strawberry location 10494 W L Ave., Kalamazoo. You will first need to check-in at the Farm Market located at 9191 West Main Street and a map will be provided to the u-pick strawberry location.

Husted’s Farm Market also offers U-pick sweet cherries approximately June 23rd (tart cherries the following week), depending on the weather. They offer a variety of other Michigan-grown fruits/vegetables for sale at the market on Main Street. Visit Facebook.

 

Adams Farms – 69676 40th Avenue, Hartford, MI 49057

(CERTIFIED ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES)

Check out Adams Farms for U-pick and already picked conventional and organic blueberries. Open July through August, daily from 8:00 am – to 8:00 pm. Make sure to bring your own containers for transporting berries, or they can be purchased at the farm. Cash/check accepted. Follow on Facebook for updated information.

 

Big Dan’s U-Pick em’ – 69676 County Road 376, Hartford, MI 49057

Big Dan’s is located on the family farm and they open in July.  They offer U-pick peaches with the prime peach picking time the 2nd and 3rd week in August. They do have an indoor restroom and plenty of parking. We had a chance to visit last August and definitely plan to return this summer. Follow Facebook.

 

Westview Farm – 60636 County Road 652, Mattawan, MI 49071

Westview Farm offers U-pick cherries (sweet and tart), pears, peaches and grapes. They also have a large variety of other fruits and vegetables for sale. They open around mid-late June and hours are Monday – Saturday from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 – 6:00 pm. Payment: cash or credit card. Check out Facebook for updated information.

 

Schultz Fruitridge Farms, Inc.  – 60139 C.R. 652, Mattawan, MI  49071

Open May through October:  Monday through Saturday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Credit cards accepted.

Family-owned since 1951, Schultz farms grows apples, peaches, asparagus, grapes, pears, squash, pumpkins, honey and maple syrup. Asparagus is available (already picked) May – early June and sold by the pound. The asparagus is hand-picked every day.   Peaches are carefully hand-picked and Schultz farms offers several varieties available over from mid-July through September. Grapes are available in Mid-September for U-pick or already picked and sold by the pound.  The “Concord” is the predominate variety grown in this region, but Schultz Farms offers several other varieties. Check out Facebook for the latest updates.

Corey Lake Orchards

Corey Lake Orchards 12147 Corey Lake Road, Three Rivers, MI

Corey Lake Orchards is a roadside farm market offering a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and bakery items. U-pick strawberries are available beginning June 9th. U-pick hours in the fields are 8:00 am – 12:00 pm daily (unless it’s picked out early). They do offer one afternoon picking option this year: Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Corey Lake Orchards suggest you bring your own quart containers if you have them. They welcome new customers and if you have questions,please let them know so they can provide the family with information on the berry picking process. Checks and credit cards are accepted.

Fruit Acres Farm Market & U-pick, 3452 Friday Road, Coloma, MI 49038

Fruit Acres Farm is a 230-acre family-owned farm just minutes from Lake Michigan in Coloma, Michigan. The Farm market is open every day beginning in June from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. They grow sweet cherries, sour pie cherries, plums, apricots, apples and peaches.

Cherry U-pick hours are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The days open vary so you will want to call ahead or check Facebook. Black sweet cherries are expected to be available beginning June 28th. U-pick peaches start the beginning of August on Saturday and Sunday ONLY from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Fruit Acres Farm Market has a picnic area with playground so the family can enjoy the entire day at the farm.

 

The Extraordinary Berry, 3091 Riverside Road, Benton Harbor, MI

The Extraordinary Berry is open every day beginning in June from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm so that visitors can see how the fruit is grown on the working farm and sample all of the berry varieties. The Extraordinary Berry offer U-pick blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Raspberries are generally available beginning early June with blackberries in early July. Already picked berries are also available. Visit Facebook for up-to-date information.

 

Berry Picking Tips

With your location set, make sure to call ahead. Here are a few things to ask:

  • “How’s the picking?”  All U-pick days are not created equal. Aim for a day where the fruit is plentiful and close together and the picking will be easier, especially for younger kids.
  • “What type of payment do you accept?” and “What’s the price?” Be prepared to take cash.
  • “Is there a restroom?” With little kids, you always need to ask this one.
  • “How do we find you?” Often times, the GPS won’t be able to pinpoint a field of strawberries if the farm is small and located in a rural area.
  • “What do we need to bring?” Bringing your own containers to take your fruit home in is common for fruit farms in the area.

 

Send us pictures in the fields picking the delicious fruit and of course if there is any place we missed, make sure to leave us a comment!

 

Berry Picking Guide-Pinterest

 

 

Robin

Robin is a native Michigander and mother of two. She has a keen eye for discovering deals and an honest desire to share local activities and family fun. In addition to enjoying early mornings with strong coffee, she likes hanging outside with her kids, biking and reading.

 

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