Berry picking at the source
With spring comes an opportunity for the whole family to get out of the house and take a trip to an area farm for berry picking. Many farms offer more than just a bucketful of berries. With farm animals, markets, tours and more, kids can learn about farms to gain a better understanding about where their food comes from. Here's a round-up of some berry-picking farms throughout Central Appalachia:
Jennings Hollow Farm: Natural growing practices and a full range of farm animals make this a fun and healthy place for the family. They also host weddings, banquets, birthday parties, tours, photo shoots and classes. They have a pumpkin patch, dairy cows, goats, horses, turkeys, chickens and pigs. Hiking trails, fishing and boating are nearby. The farm is at 1134 Jennings Hollow Road, Monticello, KY 42633. Contact them at 606-340-9376 or email@example.com. Open year-round, but call ahead.
Rainbow Harvest Farm: You can pick blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in season. You can also buy pre-picked produce, selections from the farm market/gift shop and snacks from the refreshment stand. They sell jams, jellies, fruit juices and gift boxes. Find them at 175 East Brushy Branch Road, Liberty, KY 42539. Contact them at 606-787-9142 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re open from June 1 to October 31, seven days a week, from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Cold Run Valley Berry Farm: They use natural growing practices for their blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Check out their farm market, too. They’re located at 4262 Cold Run Valley Road, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411. Contact them at 304-258-2828 or email@example.com. They’re open Monday through Saturday, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, June thru August.
Orr’s Farm Market: Pick blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, flowers, grapes, muscadine grapes and pumpkins, in season. They host birthday parties and school tours, too. They’re at 682 Orr Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25403. Contact them at 304-263-1168 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what’s in season. They’re open from May 1 to October 31, Monday through Saturday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm).
Heavenly Holler Farm: If you don’t have apples, blueberries, pears or peaches growing in your backyard, this is the next best place to pick. Go to 4931 Old Asheville Highway, Flag Pond, TN 37657. Contact them at 423-735-7161 or email@example.com. Call for availability and hours. Each month, from late June to October brings a new crop.
Mountain Mist Farms: With thornless blackberries, as well as blueberries and raspberries, this farm is great for the whole family. Their crops usually are ready to pick from June to August. You can find them at 710 Caney Creek Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Contact them at 865-258-3276 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re open from July 5 to Labor Day, Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (Sunday, from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm).
3 Birds Berry Farm: Not yet certified organic, this farm uses natural growing practices for their blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. They even provide the picking buckets and take-home containers. They’re at 1876 Brooksfield Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060. Contact them at 540-552-4195 or email@example.com. They’re open June through September, but call for the hours. They do not allow dogs.
Glenmary Gardens: In addition to the pumpkins and strawberries to pick, they have a gift shop, picnic area and farm animals to entertain you and your family. They also host weddings, wedding parties and school tours. They’re located at 224 Old Abingdon Highway, Bristol, VA 24201. Contact them at 603-526-5146. They’re open Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30 am to 12:30 am and Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Hickory Nut Gap Farm: This is a certified organic farm with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and pumpkins (in season). They also have turkeys and fresh eggs. A cider mill makes fresh apple cider on the premises, and there is a gift shop, refreshment stand, picnic area, trike track, pony rides and farm animals. They host birthday parties, weddings and school tours. Find them at 57 Sugar Hollow Road, Fairview, NC 28730. Contact them at 828-628-1027 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re open from the summer to the fall, when some activities require a paid admission. Call for store hours and availability.
Stoney Hollow Farm: You can pick blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, grapes, melons, apples, pears, persimmons, plums, peaches, pumpkins, corn, squash, peppers, tomatoes, flowers and more. Pick up some pre-picked produce at their farm market and visit their gift shop. Jams and baked goods are also for sale. They’re at 941 Ollies Creek Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771. Contact them at 828-735-2983 or email@example.com. They’re generally open seven days a week from sunup to sundown, but call before you go. Crops are usually available in April through November.
Bush-N-Vine Farm: Pick blueberries, strawberries, South Carolina peaches and pumpkins, in season. There’s also a picnic area, so bring your own lunch and make a day of it. They also host birthday parties and school tours. You can find them at 1650 Filbert Highway, York, SC 29745. Contact them at 803-684-2732 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re open Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Saturday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, March 1 to December 31.
The Happy Berry: You can pick your own blackberries, blueberries, figs, grapes and elderberries in Upstate South Carolina. Visit the farm at 510 Gap Hill Road, Six Mile, SC 29682. Contact them at 864-350-9345 or email@example.com. Crops are usually ready for picking from June to August. They’re open Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm; Saturday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; and Sunday, noon to 9:00 pm.
Photo credits: Tashamillergriffith.com, ruralgirl.tumbler.com, onlineathens.com