The 2013 Midsummer Guide to Berry-Picking in Virginia and Maryland (Updated)
There’s still time to hit the bushes. Here’s where to do it.
Heading to a farm on a sunny afternoon to pick berries is a long-cherished rite of summer. While blueberries typically ripen in mid-June, there are still a few farms with late-blooming varieties (read: take advantage now). Blackberries are also beginning to pop up, mostly in Maryland. We’ve updated our annual guide to berry-picking in the area—act quickly, or subject yourself to decidedly inferior store-bought varieties. We checked in with the farms for each of the below reports, but call ahead for up-to-date details since berries are sensitive to weather changes.
19600 Frog Eye Rd., Knoxville; call 301-799-8645 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Picking updates: Despite coming off of a dual storm wipeout last year, the berries here are plump and juicy as ever. Frog Eye Farm has more than 15 varieties of blueberries, allowing for a healthy and lasting crop. They’re expected to last until mid-August.
Just for fun: Co-owner Tracy Racheff tells us each blueberry bush has a different flavor. The farm encourages sampling so you can craft your ideal bushel of berries.
Price: Blueberries $3 per pound.
Hours: Open weekdays 8 to 2 (Wednesday 8 to 8) and weekends 8 to 4.
15604 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville; 301-977-3761 (for a recorded message of picking conditions)
Picking updates: Thornless blackberries are the name of the game at Homestead. Perfect for safe picking, they should be there until at least mid-August. Bring a container, or buy one at the farm.
Just for fun: You can also pick some peaches while on the farm. And don’t forget to greet the goat that wanders around.
Price: Blackberries $2.59 per pound; peaches $1.79 per pound.
Hours: Picking fields are open daily 9 to 5. The market is open daily 9 to 6.
1495 Appleton Rd., Elkton; 401-398-1349
Picking updates: Blueberries will be around for another week, and blackberries are ripe for the picking until mid-August. Around that time, raspberries will be making an appearance.
Just for fun: Make a quick detour to Milburn’s Farm Market for some famous apple cider doughnuts, which are always in season.
Price: Call for prices.
Hours: Open Wednesday 8 to noon and weekends 8 to 4.
28600 Ridge Rd., Mount Airy; call 301-831-7427 or e-mail email@example.com
Picking updates: Raspberries and thornless blackberries grow alongside tidy heaps of strawberries, leaving you with a cornucopia of berry choices well through August.
Just for fun: In addition to berries, you can cut your own herbs and pick your own kale. Head over in August to snag some house-made cheese and milk from the newly opened creamery.
Price: Blackberries $2.59 per pound; raspberries $4.25 per pound; kale $1.50 per pound; herbs 63 cents per ounce.
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 6 and Sunday 10 to 5. Closed Monday.
2415 Woodbine Rd., Woodbine; 301-854-6110
Picking updates: Purple raspberries are in good supply, but the season only lasts two weeks, so plan your trip soon. You should be able to snag some blueberries and flourishing red raspberries while you’re there, too.
Just for fun: Larriland also offers a variety of non-berry options, including plums and apricots, which should be available any day now.
Price: Call for prices.
Hours: Open Tuesday 9 to 8, Wednesday through Friday 9 to 6, and weekends 9 to 5.
22200 David Mill Rd., Germantown; 301-972-3299
Picking updates: Blackberries had an excellent crop this season, but high demand has supplies dwindling quickly. Get in there soon to get the last of blueberries, as well.
Just for fun: No trip is complete without a stop at the bakery to pick up one of the fresh pies, such as peach crumble, strawberry-mango, or the most appropriate one for this list, very berry.
Price: Blackberries and blueberries $2.69 per pound.
Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday 8:30 to 1 and weekends 8:30 to 5:30.
3064 Hartland La., Markham; 540-364-2316
Picking updates: Blueberries cover Hartland, but there’s a good chance they’ll be gone in the next week or two. Head there soon if you’re hoping to munch on some fresh ones. Cherries are all gone, but the white peach season just started.
Just for fun: Enjoy some house-made cider and honey while taking in the views from the farm.
Price: Blueberries $3 per pint.
Hours: Open daily 8 to 6 PM.
11324 Pearlstone La., Delaplane; call 540-592-3701 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Picking updates: Blackberries have taken over the fields at Hollin Farms, and somebody needs to wage an offensive against them. Said offensive will likely end in delicious fruit, freshly baked pie, and berry-stained smiles.
Just for fun: If starches are more your thing, feel free to dig up some new potatoes. Shovels are provided.
Price: Blackberries $4 per pint
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday 9 to 5.
23298 Jefferson David Hwy., Ruther Glen; 804-448-0395
Picking updates: Some blueberries remain scattered about, but they’ll likely be picked soon. Blackberries are starting to pop up.
Just for fun: On Monday, all after-market produce sells for 50 percent off.
Price: $4 per pound.
Hours: Open daily 9 to 6.
18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont; 540-554-2073
Picking updates: Blueberry season is wrapping up now at Great Country, but blackberries are right around the corner. Be sure to call ahead of time for an updated report on the crop.
Just for fun: The Bluemont BBQ Bash and Blackberry Bonanza happens July 26 through 28. You can take a hayride, pick some blackberries, and even judge the meat categories in competition.
Price: Blueberries $4 per pound.
Hours: Open daily 9 to 6.
12101 Orange Plank Rd., Locust Grove; 540-972-2680
Picking updates: With berries coming in a little late this year, pick-your-own raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are not quite ready. Check in with Miller Farms in the coming weeks.
Just for fun: The nearby Roseda Beef offers up cuts of beef, burgers, and hot dogs.
Price: Call for updated pricing in late July.
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday 9 to 5.
1235 Berry Farm La., Oak Grove; 804-224-9171
Picking updates: Blackberries are the sport of the season at this Oak Grove farm, and blueberries may or may not be making a comeback in upcoming weeks.
Just for fun: Unable to satisfy your blueberry craving? The farm’s store is stuffed with preserves and spreads.
Price: Blackberries $2.79 per pound.
Hours: Due to a particularly busy pick-your-own season, call ahead for updated hours.