Pick-your-own blueberry season 2015

box of blueberries at samascott

We are into the thick of blueberry season around the greater Capital Region. And as we've mentioned before, blueberries are just about our favorite pick-your-own crop because they're easy to pick (on bushes about waist high), relatively cheap (usually between $2-$3 per pound), and they freeze beautifully, so you can stock up for later in the year.

There are a handful of farms around the Capital Region that offer pick-your-own blueberries. Here's a list with some info. And, of course, if you know of a place that should be on the list, please share.

Important: you should call ahead (or check the farm website/Facebook) the day you're heading out to get the conditions.

Albany County

Indian Ladder Farms
342 Altamont Rd, Altamont, NY (map)
(866) 640-7425
Wednesday-Friday 9 am-1 pm / weekends 9 am-4 pm

Alas, blueberries are already gone this year: "Due to the hard winter frosts, we had a very light blueberry crop and we no longer have berries. Hopefully next winter will be kinder!" BUT: Red and black raspberries are currently available for picking -- they're $4.50 per pound (over 6 pounds receives a 50-cent per pound discount.)

Columbia County

Samascott Orchards
5 Sunset Ave, Kinderhook, NY (map)
(518) 758-7224
Everyday 8 am-6 pm

Samascott has multiple large blueberry fields, with different varieties. They're $2 per pound. (There's a $5 minimum for PYO.) Samascott also currently has black raspberries ($5 per pound) and a range of over PYO vegetables.

The Berry Farm
2309 Route 203, Chatham, NY (map)
(518) 392-4609
Sunday-Wednesday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday-Saturday 8 am-7 pm

Currently has PYO blueberries ($2.99 per pound) and PYO raspberries ($4.99 per pound.)

Also: "We are a no-spray & no-pesticide farm, so we manage our weeds with a mower and manual removal."

Love Apple Farm
1421 State Route 9H, Ghent, NY (map)
(518) 828-5048
Every day 9 am-5 pm

PYO blueberries are still available, according to the person we talked with on the phone (July 29), and they're $2 per pound. Love Apple also has PYO peaches.

Rensselaer County

Hay Berry Farm
1276 Babcock Lake Road, Hoosick Falls, NY (map)
(518) 285-9039
Thursday-Monday 7:30 am-3 pm, Sunday 11 am-4 pm

Hayberry grows eight different varieties of blueberries. And apparently this year is a bumper crop.

Hay Berry also has "you-snip" lavender, which we haven't seen anywhere else.

Also: Hay Berry is a member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York.

Saratoga County

Bowman Orchards
141 Sugar Hill Rd, Rexford, NY (map)
(518) 371-2042
Monday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm / Sunday noon-5 pm

Blueberries are already picked out. But Bowman grows multiple varieties of raspberries, currently available for PYO, and they usually continue until the first frost.

Eagle's View Farm
2089 Route 29, Galway, NY (map)
(518) 882-9199
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday 8-11 am

Eagle's View grows multiple varieties of blueberries that ripen as the summer progresses. Blueberries are $2.20/pound. (Minimum $3 per person, including kids.)

Noted: cash only, no bathrooms, no pets.

Winney's Blueberry Farm
113 Winney Dr Schuylerville, NY (map)
(518) 695-5547
Every day 8 am-6 pm

We've heard in past years Winney's grows 19 different varieties (!) of blueberries, and the varieties are tend to have staggered staggered harvest times through mid August. Unfortunately, the farm reports on its FB page that a hail storm hit the farm this year, which has made picking difficult recently.

Blueberries are $2.85/pound PYO, and $8 per quart at the stand.

Washington County

Hicks Orchard
18 Hicks Road, Granville, NY -- (map)
(518) 692-2376
Monday-Saturday 8 am-5 pm, Sunday 10 am-4 pm

Hicks grows four varities of blueberries and the season there typically extends through the end of August. They're $3 per pound. The website reports Hicks also still has some sour cherries available for picking ($$3.25 per pound).

Hand Melon Farm
533 Wilbur Avenue, Greenwich, NY -- between Schuylerville and Greenwich (map)
(518) 692-2376
Wednesday-Friday 8 am-6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am-5 pm

PYO blueberries are $2.75 per pound. Hand also grows a variety of raspberry that ripens later in the summer, late August into September.

Of course, the farm is also where the Hand Melons are grown -- and it looks like the famous melons will be arriving soon.

Stu-Berry Acres
1483 County Route 49, Argyle, NY (map)
(518) 638-8926
Every day 8 am-6 pm

PYO blueberries are $2.75 per pound. Stu-Berry also has red, black, and purple raspberries ($4.50 per pound).
____

Know of a good place not on this list? Please share!
____

Freezing: We mentioned that blueberries freeze well. Here's a good way to do it:

+ Rinse the berries, picking out stems and damaged berries.

+ Pat the berries dry with a clean towel -- you don't have to get them super dry, but do what you can without smooshing them.

+ Spread them on a sheet pan, in a single layer if possible, and pop them in the freezer uncovered. Let them freeze hard -- usually 3-4 hours or overnight.

+ Bag the berries -- most of them will have frozen individually -- in a zip bag or other container, trying to get out as much air as possible. Pop them back in the freezer.

+ Enjoy months later. The berries won't be exactly like fresh, but they hold up well. And you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference after you've baked them in a crumble, or even make pancakes with them.

Comments

Wow, that's sad about Winney's. Good thing you posted that. I was planning on going there this weekend.

@Ryan: It's worth calling them this weekend to see how things are. Maybe some of the later ripening varieties are coming in and things will have picked up again by then.

Thanks for this list!! FYI - Hay Berry Farm is at 1176 Babcock Lake Rd.

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