This time of year, fresh berries abound in Vermont. Whether you’re looking to bake a pie or fill your freezer for winter smoothies, berry picking is a fun activity the whole family can get behind. To help sweeten the deal, we’ve compiled a list of pick-your-own blueberry and raspberry farms perfect for little pickers. Before heading out into the fields, here are a few suggestions to make your expedition run smoothly:
- Always call or check the farm's website before you go. Often, farms close for a few days if ripe berries are picked out, or for weather-related reasons. Many farms list up-to-date info on their answering machines or websites.
- Full sun is needed to ripen fruit, so expect little shade. Slather on sunscreen, wear hats and pack plenty of water.
- Not all farms accept debit or credit cards; carry cash or checks.
- A small fee may be charged for boxes, so bringing your own containers is a smart, and eco-friendly, choice. Remember, you’ll be leaving with berries, too, so make some space in your car for your juicy treasures. Toss in a towel to cover your haul on the way home.
- Above all, berry patches are farmers’ homes and livelihoods. Remind your small ones to behave respectfully around berries and bushes — while having fun, of course.
Adam’s Berry Farm
features organic blueberries, raspberries and vegetables. 985 Bingham Brook Rd., Charlotte. Info, 578-9093
Fisher Brothers Farm
grows blueberries and raspberries — plus other berry varieties, sweet corn and sunflowers. 4947 Spear St., Shelburne. Info, 735-0005
Located on an open hillside, Browns Beautiful Blueberries
boasts a stunning view of the Northeast Kingdom’s Craftsbury Common. Wide-spaced bushes make for easy picking. Bring your own containers. 493 Coburn Hill Rd., Craftsbury. Info, 586-2202
Farmer Mike at Isham Family Farm
welcomes youngsters for blueberry and raspberry picking in his off-the-road fields where chickens are used for pest control. 3515 Oak Hill Rd., Williston. Info, 872-1525
In addition to regular hours, Owl’s Head Blueberry Farm
offers live music most Tuesday evenings. Berry pickers are welcome to bring a picnic, blanket and chairs. 263 Blueberry Farm Rd., Richmond. Info, 434-3387
Sam Mazza’s You-Pick Berries
is part of their 350-acre farm, which grows blueberries and raspberries, and has a retail market, bakery and greenhouses. 277 Lavigne Rd., Colchester. Info, 655-3440
In addition to blueberries, vegetables galore and a maple sugarhouse, Hartshorn Farm
also offers educational summer camps. 54 Quarry Rd. in Waitsfield. Info, 496-3081
Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center
encourages families to take their time and enjoy raspberry and blueberry picking, the sandbox, kid-friendly chickens and a self-guided farm tour. Enjoy lunch at the café or bring your own picnic fixings. 225 Pavillion Rd., East Thetford. Info, 785-4737
Norris Berry Farm
raises abundant blueberries, raspberries and vegetables. 686 Davis Rd. in Hinesburg. Info, 453-3793