When it gets hotter than hades outside, you know it’s time to go blueberry picking, Georgia! Even this year, when it seems like everything has changed because of Covid-19, you can still get freshly picked, locally-grown berries!
This year I’m not taking my oldest because after an hour of picking tiny balls of fruit in the hot sun, I went to see how many he had in his bucket. None! Nada. Zilch. Zero. Then he wanted to eat the ones I picked on the way home! No way buddy.
Guide to Blueberry Picking in Atlanta
Although it’s more work and a bit hotter to go blueberry picking is Atlanta (vs. say strawberries or apples) we still love to go. Th world has changed though due to Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean that we have to forgo freshly picked berries. There are a number of Georgia farms that are offering safe curbside pick-up and U-Pick berry experiences. The best time is mid June through early August, but weather has a lot to do with when the berries are ripe enough to pick.
ALWAYS call before you head out, especially during these times, to ensure picking conditions are optimal, and the patch is open. Often times a blueberry farm will close for a few days to allow more crop to flourish, and hours may vary now due to social distancing. Wondering where is the best blueberry picking near me? We have uncovered 20 u-pick blueberry farms to try. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know.
Address: 1658 Turner Church Rd, McDonough
When to Visit: Monday through Saturday 8 am – 6pm; Sunday 1 pm – 6 pm
Georgia grows more blueberries than any other state in the nation (we recently passed Michigan for the honor). At Southern Belle Farms, blueberries are in season from late May until June. They have more than 700 bushes with six different varieties of sweet plump blueberries, so chances are good you’ll find some yummy little bonnets to take home. (And if you don’t want to pick, they typically have pre-picked berries and bites of heaven in the Country Market.)
For true Georgia blueberries, you might want to try the Titan or Ochlocknee varieties. These were developed by the University of Georgia and can be found among the many bushes at Southern Belle. All we can say is DE.LIC.OUS. If you can get any home, try them plain over hot pancakes for a healthy alternative to maple syrup.
If you are a fan of Southern Belle Farm (like we are) note the activities side of the farm is not open because of Covid-19. And be sure to save room to sample Southern Belle’s famous homemade ice cream and other baked goods at the Country Market. Limited amounts of visitors are allowed into the store at a time so bring your patience.
If you can’t make it by in-season, you can still pick up some blueberry treats in the fall like blueberry fried pies (ALWAYS a favorite). And no matter when you visit, you’ll find blueberry jams, jellies and cider.
See our post on Southern Belle Farm for more seasonal fun on the farm. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook page too for the latest news this pick-your-own farm offers.
Address: 1486 Georgia Highway 54 West, Fayetteville
When to Visit: Monday through Saturday 9 am to 4 pm
Address: 786 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock
When to Visit: Tuesday through Saturday 8 am – 9 pm
Insider Info: According to the owners of Berry Patch Farms, they look to have an excellent crop of blueberries and will start picking as they ripen in late June. Because of their large area and open air they don’t plan to have to implement changes from past years. People always ask about pesticides at U-pick farms. Berry Patch Farms blueberries are never sprayed with pesticides.
Address: 1455 Black Mountain Road, Dahlonega
When to Visit: Contact them for hours.
More Info: Make it a weekend of fun by checking out these other fun things to do in Dahlonega. Black Mountain Forst Blueberry Farm also offers local honey from their own hives. Pure Spring honey is typically available around June 15th, and Sourwood honey is typically available around August 1st. Honey is available during u-pick hours and by appointment.
Address: 1363 Highway 151, LaFayette
When to Visit: Thursday through Monday 7 am – 9 pm
Insider Tip: This farm plans to offer blueberries for picking starting in mid-June (earlier than a typical year). They may make changes to accomoadate social distancing. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for updated information before you. Also, you can order and pay online, for a quick pick-up.
Address: 810 Stevens Grove Church Rd, Lexington
When to Visit: Wednesday and Saturday
Insider Tip: In the summer, besides blueberries, you can pick muscadine and scuppernong grapes, cooking pears and Japanese persimmons. During the holidays, return to the farm to cut your own Christmas tree! Blueberries will be available around June 15th and last until July 25th. Price is $1.50 per quart. Their farm of 2500 blueberries, 2000 blackberries, and 16 mulberry trees are no-spray. There is no agri-tourism offerings…no jump houses or pony rides…this is a great place for serious pickers or families who want to understand what berry farming really is.
Address: 1067 Robert Hill Rd., Midway
When to Visit: Monday through Saturday 7 am – 7 pm
Insider Tip: Blueberries, blackberries and mulberries…plus look for u-pick tomatoes, garlic and honey. Currently they are taking reservations the U-Pick experience, allowing only 1 family to pick at a time. Be sure to call first for timing.
The farm is also home to a fun glamping experience…we stayed overnight on the blueberry farm in a canvas tent…had dinner with the owners…and loved exploring the area. Soo more about our Overnight at Buffalo Creek Berry Farm.
Address: 1839 Prospect Road, Lawrenceville
When to Visit: The owners of the U-Pick farm says that the 2020 crop looks great. They plan on opening the 1st or 2nd week of June. Please check their Facebook page for updated info. They provide your buckets and bags to take the blueberries home. Cash or check only. $20/gallon. Monday to Saturday beginning at 8 am
Address: 716 Harrison Mill Road, Winder
Insider Tip: The owner of Fleeman’s says the crop of blueberries and blackberries are beautiful and it looks like a good season ahead. Although it is a bit early to post an opening date, they plan to open some time around June 15.
Due to Covid-19, and any state and local requirements resulting from the virus, changes in their U-Pick operation may be necessary this year. Bring your own containers to take home your berries. Note Fleemans is open on select Sundays, but you may want to call before you go to make sure they are open on the Sunday you want to go.
Address: 38 Knox Chapel Road, Social Circle
When to Visit: Call for hours & availability. This farm closed early in 2018 and was not open in 2019 because of low yeild. They plan to open in 2020 but have not confirmed the dates.
Address: 7633 Forrest Rd., Grantville
When to Visit: Pick your own blueberries July until October. Seven days a week 8 am – 6pm. Since this farm doesn’t have much of a web presence, you can contact the owner for more information by emailing Phillip Dow at email@example.com or calling 678-416-3955
Address: 5641 Union Rd., Tifton
When to Visit: Due to Covid-19, Rutland Farms is not offering U-Pick options this season. You can still get blueberries curbside and from their market. They should have berries through June.
Address: 8660 Blue Ridge Drive, Blue Ridge
When to Visit: Open 7 days a week. 7 am – 6 pm
Insider Tip: Mercier is not just for apple picking; we love their berries too. They are currently not offering U-Pick experiences, but there are strawberries and in June will have blueberries available in the cafe. You can also get your order curbside. Note: All guests are required to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before going into the market. The cafe is take-out only.
Address: 1371 Union Church Rd., Watkinsville
When to Visit: Open mid-June to mid-August; Tuesday 7:30 am – 7:30 pm, Wednesday 7:30 am – noon, Thursday – Saturday 7:30 am – 7:30 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. The farm also offers blackberries. They have not decided on changes due to Covid-19.
Address: 762 Pine Dr., Woodbine
When to Visit: In 2020, this farm opened their blueberry season in late April and plans to run until July, assuming they still have blueberries. Closed Sunday. Check Facebook for most recent updates. Morning Belle grows organic blueberries.
Address: 702 Bloomingdale Rd., Bloomingdale
When to Visit: Mid-June until the end of July. Tuesday through Saturday 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm. The farm has several changes due to Covid-19. They will furnish picking containers, group numbers (4) and distancing rules apply. No pets, purses, backpacks, diaper bags, strollers or baby carriers allowed in the field. The play area is not open.
Address: 5975 Smith Mill Road, Gainesville
When to Visit: Call for hours & availability. They are currently offering delivery in the Gainsville area of their fresh, organically-grown vegetables. They have tomatoes, yellow squash, cabbage, small cucumbers, onions, assortment of potatoes , kale, microgreens, lettuce, green peas , broccoli, bell peppers , carrots, syrups and dressings as well as white, wheat and Herb bread. To place an order for delivery please call 678-617-5962 Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. till 5 p.m.
Address: 15639 Birmingham Hwy, Milton
When to Visit: This landscaping center, cafe and store is open Monday through Saturday 8 am – 6 pm; Sunday 9 am – 6 pm. Scottsdale Farm encourages customers to wear a face mask and practice social distancing when shopping. They have outdoor registers with touch-less credit card processing as well as curbside pick-up and home delivery options.
Address: 1608 Burning Bush Rd., Ringgold
When to Visit: Sims Farm will not offer U-Pick this year. Follow them on Facebook to get daily updates on availability and hours.
Address: 5671 Hog Mountain Road (Hwy.53), Watkinsville
When to Visit: Due to Covid-19, Washington Farms was closed this Spring but they plan to open in time for blueberry and blackberry season in late May/early June. They plan to offer pre-picked berries as well as their homemade strawberry ice cream and kettle korn.
Address: 3905 Hwy 138, Covington
When to Visit: 9 am to 5 pm. Call ahead for produce available.
How to Care for your U-Pick Blueberries
I always thought you kept u-pick (or even store bought) berries fresh by not washing them until you were ready to eat them, but I did a little research for this article and found out there is a secret ingredient to keep them fresh longer, vinegar. Sounds weird but it makes sense, and every article I read said the berries don’t taste like vinegar afterwards. Here’s what I found.
- Apparently it isn’t just moisture that shortens the shelf life of berries, but mold. You know how you always find that one berry at the bottom that’s a little fuzzy. Well you want to kill that mold, and a vinegar bath is the way to do it.
- Put 3 cups cold water to 1 cup of white vinegar in a large bowl or salad spinner.
- Swish the berries around for about a minute.
- Drain the solution and run the berries under water until the aroma of the vinegar is gone.
- Spread the berries out on a paper towel and dry
- Spread a breathable container with paper towels (if you have those plastic clam containers berries usually come in at store, use those) and put the berries in the container. If you don’t have the clam containers, you can use Tupperware, but just leave the top open so air can circulate.
Blueberry Recipes using U-pick blueberries
The blueberries are so tasty. I would say I’d make blueberry pancakes or muffins or some fabulous blueberry tart, but we can’t keep them around that long.
My friend Karen has an incredible food blog called In the Kitchen with KP. If you don’t eat all the blueberries you’ve picked, she has the most delicious recipes including these wonderful ideas on what to do with all those blueberries.
Blueberry Lemon Whoopie Pies:What’s more Southern than a whoppie pie. These treats would be perfect for a July 4th party or fun dessert that kids and adults would enjoy after a casual backyard BBQ.
Blueberry Bliss Grilled Cheese: I would never have thought of blueberries in grilled cheese, but this is more of a stuff french toast, that actually stays crisp. Super easy.