It’s time to go blueberry picking here in the mid-west. Last week I visited my favorite local blueberry farm, Blueberry Haven in Bear Creek, Wisconsin. What a great way to spend a summer morning, I picked a couple buckets of fresh blueberries in about an hour. Blueberry picking is a fun family activity so bring the kids along to help pick, just make sure they put as many berries in the bucket as they put in their mouths.
Top 10 Blueberry States
You may not be aware that you can grow blueberries in almost every state across the country. There may even be an undiscovered you-pick blueberry farm near you. The top ten states for commercial blueberry production are Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Indiana. Not surprisingly, these 10 states also have the most U-Pick Blueberry Farms. However, there are many more blueberry farms open to the public in states you may not expect like Kansas and Ohio. U-Pick Farm Locator has pick-your-own blueberry farms listed in 39 out of our 50 states. Search U-Pick Farm Locator for u-pick blueberry farms near you.
Blueberry Haven Blueberry Farm
The blueberry season at Blueberry Haven runs from mid July to August. This family owned and operated blueberry farm has planted over 15,000 Highbush Blueberry plants that now average 5 feet tall. They use natural fertilizers and do not use any pesticides on their blueberry crop. Blueberry Haven has 5 varieties of blueberry plants including Dukes, Patriots, Bluecrop, Blue Ray and Nelsons allowing their pick your own blueberry season to run up to 8 weeks. A healthy plant can produce up to 10-15 pounds of blueberries in 3 pickings or ripening stages. They offer you pick blueberries, pre-picked and by special order. Plus they carry some yummy and unique blueberry products in their farm market, along with cookbooks filled with great ideas to use your freshly picked berries.
Upon arriving at the farm I was handed a couple of white buckets and given a ride in a tractor pulled trailer filled with straw bale benches that took me out to the field. I was given a row of Bluecrop Blueberries to pick and proceeded to pick up one side and down the other filling my pails along the way. There were blueberry bushes as far as the eye could see. This year I remembered to bring a clip to hold my bucket which I fastened to a belt loop. This freed up both hands for picking helping me pick a little faster.
Bluecrop Blueberry Plants
As mentioned above the blueberry plant variety in my assigned row was called Bluecrop which is well suited to our northern winters. You can buy blueberry plants for your backyard garden at dozens of on-line retail stores such as Burpee.com. Here is the Burpee.com Bluecrop Blueberry Description: “Fruits ripen in mid season and the harvest goes on for weeks. (You need two kinds for cross-pollination, three being even better.) The 5-6′ tall bushes become a blaze of crimson in the fall, so they are ideal arranged as an informal hedge. Set plants 4-8′ apart and make sure the soil is acidic. You’ll have fresh blueberries for pies and preserves for many, many years. Bluecrop is a mid-season variety. Medium size fruit with a high sugar content. Plants yield heavily.”