Pick-your-own blueberry season 2017

box of blueberries at samascott

Blueberry season has begun around the greater Capital Region. And there are a bunch of places where you can pick your own.

Blueberries are just about our favorite PYO crop because they're easy to pick (on bushes about waist high), relatively cheap (usually about $3 per pound), and they freeze beautifully, so you can stock up for later in the year.

Here's a list of farms around the region for PYO blueberries, along with a few details.

Important: You should call ahead (or check the farm website/Facebook) the day you're heading out to get the conditions. Also: Wear sunscreen or a hat or both -- because the blueberries only grow about waist high, there's usually little or no shade in the fields.

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

Blueberries are $4.75 per quart. "Please stop in the Farm Market to purchase quart baskets and pay for your berries before picking. ... A one-quart container holds about 1.5 pounds, or about 4 to 4 1/4 cups."

Indian Ladder also currently has PYO raspberries for $6.50 per quart.

Columbia County

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

Samascott has multiple large blueberry fields, with different varieties. They're $3 per pound. (There's a $5 minimum for PYO.) Samascott also currently has black raspberries ($5 per pound), sour and sweet cherries ($3 per pound), and a range of other PYO vegetables.

The Berry Farm
2309 Route 203, Chatham, NY (map)
(518) 392-4609
Saturday and Sunday 8 am-5 pm (farm store open every day 8 am-6 pm)

The Berry Farm starts PYO blueberries this Saturday (July 15) -- price to be announced. It also has PYO raspberries. "Berry picking ends one hour before closing at 5PM. We provide containers for picking, please visit our front register before heading out into the field."

Also: "All of the vegetables and fruit grown at The Chatham Berry Farm are pesticide-free."

Love Apple Farm
1421 State Route 9H, Ghent, NY (map)
(518) 828-5048
Every day 8 am-6 pm

Love Apple has PYO blueberries for $3 per pound. The farm also often has PYO peaches later in the season.

Thompson-Finch Farm
750 Wiltsie Bridge Rd, Ancram, NY (map)
(518) 329-7578
Wednesday and Saturday 8 am-11 am

The season at Thompson-Finch lasts about six weeks. Be sure to call the farm for updates before heading out.

Also: Thompson-Finch is a NOFA-NY Certified Organic farm.

Rensselaer County

Hay Berry Farm
1176 Babcock Lake Road, Hoosick Falls, NY (map)
(518) 285-9039
Wednsday-Saturday 7:30 am-3 pm, Sunday 11 am-3:30 pm

PYO blueberries started this week, and apparently all the rain this summer has prompted "massive amounts of blueberries." Hayberry grows multiple different varieties of blueberries. Keep an eye on its FB page, where the farm posts updates about which varieties are in season..

Also: Hay Berry also has "you-snip" lavender, which we haven't seen anywhere else. And the farm 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

Bowman started PYO blueberries at the end of June. The blueberries are $4.29 per pound (and it's $2/person to pick).

Also: Bowman also currently has PYO cherries, raspberries, and strawberries. Check the farm's website for updates.

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

PYO started this week. Blueberries are $2.50 per pound. Eagle's View grows multiple varieties of blueberries that ripen as the summer progresses. "Now that the sun has returned the berries are ripening fast and picking will be excellent."

Note: 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

PYO season started July 1. Blueberries are $3.10 per pound PYO, and $8 per quart at the stand.

We've heard in past years that Winney's grows 19 different varieties (!) of blueberries, and is said to have one of the largest plantings of blueberries in the state. The varieties tend to have staggered harvest times through mid August. Keep an eye on the farm's Facebook page for updates.

Washington County

Hicks Orchard
18 Hicks Road, Granville, NY -- (map)
(518) 692-2376
Wednesday-Monday 8 am-5 pm

Hicks start PYO blueberries July 8 -- they're $3 per pound. The farm grows four varieties of blueberries and the season there typically extends through the end of August. They're $3 per pound.

Hicks also has PYO tart cherries for $3.25 per pound.

Hand Melon Farm
533 Wilbur Avenue, Greenwich, NY -- between Schuylerville and Greenwich (map)
(518) 692-2376
Wednesday-Friday 8 am-5 pm, Saturday-Sunday 8 am-4 pm

PYO blueberries started in early July -- they're $3.25 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 And you've never had one of the melons, you should give them a try. They're fantastic. When the melons become available, usually a little later in the summer, you can get them at the farm stand across from the Washington County Fairgrounds.

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

PYO blueberries started July 5 -- they're $3.25 per pound. Stu-Berry also different varieties of raspberries ($4.50 per pound). Check the Facebook page for availability.
____

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

Picked too many blueberries? Freeze 'em.

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 pie, or even make pancakes with them.

Also, crumble them

Fresh blueberries are often delicious just on their own, but if you picked a bunch of them and are looking for something to do with all those berries -- crumble them!

Comments

Freezing blueberries is an amazing option. I use them as a low calorie sweet treat in warm weather. Just a cup is only 70 calories. I let them thaw a little and then dig in with a spoon. A little chili powder adds a different dimension. I don't typically use A/C in the summer, so a stomach full of frozen blueberries is a perfect way to cool down. I throw in a few to my oatmeal in the morning as well.

What's up with the cover charge, Bowmans? Most expensive per pound and $2/picker on top? I'm just bitter because we live near by but pick else where due to being nickel-and-dimed there a few strawberry seasons ago.

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