by Robin B
After this harsh Michigan winter, what better way to think about the upcoming summer than planning a trip to a berry/fruit farm? Berry picking can be a fun and nutritious way to pass a summer day.
Berry Picking Tips
Call ahead before you head out to pick. When you call, 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 across Southwest Michigan.
Enjoy your time out in the fields and orchards. We would love to know what you pick – when you do it – and where you were. Leave us a comment!
[acc title=”Mandigo Farms, Inc”]
Mandigo Farms, Inc. – 61077 41st Street, Paw Paw, MI 49079
Open in early June, daily from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Nothing marks the entrance of summer better than the taste of a fresh-picked strawberry! Head over to Mandigo Farms in Paw Paw in early June for some strawberries. The farm supplies containers and they offer U-pick or already picked strawberries. There are a few picnic tables at the farm and a port-a-potty. To make a day of it, head over to 3 mile lake that has a public beach for swimming and is only one mile from Mandigo Farms.
[acc title=”Nottawa Fruit Farm”]
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 Wed. 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 for more information on regular store hours and activities.
[acc title=”Brookside Farms”]
Brookside Farms (Fritz’s Blueberries) – 34448 44th Avenue, Paw Paw, MI 49079
The store has 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. 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, the farm also has two other locations in Gobles and Martin.
[acc title=”Sterling Acres Blueberry Farm”]
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 and already-picked blueberries, sold in 5 or 10 pound boxes. They open in mid to late July with the hours of 9:00 am – 3:00 pm daily.
[acc title=”Stokes Homestead Farm Market “]
Stokes Homestead Farm Market –13988 County Road 215, Grand Junction, MI 49056
Hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm (June) and daily from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm in July and August.
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. New for 2014 are the tire climb, corn kernel silo and the farm-yard playground. On July 26, they will be hosting their annual Blueberry Bash. Check out their website for more information and ticket pricing.
[acc title=”Overhiser Orchards “]
Overhiser Orchards – 6405 109th Avenue, South Haven, Michigan 49090
Hours are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (from June 15 – June 30) and daily from July 1 – October 31 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Take the family on a drive and visit Overhiser Orchards, located 3 miles east of I-196, just north of South Haven. They offer U-pick sweet and sour cherries, peaches, plums 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 or by appointment. The U-pick season starts with Sweet and Tart Cherries in late June. Later on in the season your family will enjoy picking peaches, pears, plums, apples and pumpkins from easy to access fields.
[acc title=”Husted’s Farm Market “]
Husted’s Farm Market -9191 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
The Market is open June 1st – October from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. The Market has been remodeled over the winter, so you’ll want to stop and check out their new look.
Husted’s Farm Market offers U-pick sweet cherries around June 20, depending on the weather. They also have tart cherries for U-pick in July. They offer a variety of other Michigan-grown fruits/vegetables for sale as well.
[acc title=”Big Dan’s U-Pick em’ “]
Big Dan’s U-Pick em’ – 65980 66th Avenue, Hartford, MI 49057
Big Dan’s is located on the family farm and they open in late 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. They do not accept credit or debit cards.
[acc title=”Schultz Fruitridge Farms, Inc. “]
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.
Family-owned since 1951, Schultz farms grows apples, peaches, asparagus, grapes, pears, squash, pumpkins, honey and maple syrup, for U-Pick and Pre-picked fruits, vegetables, and more. 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
[acc title=”Fruit Acres Farm Market & U-pick “]
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. Their specialty crop are peaches sold in Mid-July thru September.
Cherry U-pick hours are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The days open vary so you will want to call ahead. For the 2014 season, the first U-pick crop is black sweet cherries starting around July 4th.
Fruit Acres has a picnic area with playground so the family can enjoy the entire day at the farm.
[acc title=”The Extraordinary Berry “]
The Extraordinary Berry, 3091 Riverside Road, Benton Harbor, MI
The Extraordinary Berry is open every day beginning in June from 9:00 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.