Story Farms. Photo from Instagram provided by @marcellusramsey
It doesn’t get any sweeter than an afternoon spent picking fresh fruits or vegetables on a warm summer day. Simply put, food is the most delicious when eaten straight off the vine, bush or tree, and the reward of biting into a juicy berry or apple or ear of corn is even better after picking it yourself from the source. Luckily, June begins picking season here in New York. Right now you can enjoy strawberries (and asparagus!). Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and other fruits and veggies ripen later, as, hopefully, peaches will (last year was not a good one!). Of course, apples and pumpkins come in the fall.
Farms in every region offer different varieties of juicy strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and much, much more for the picking. Bring your family or your friends and spend a glorious day harvesting the best of what the Earth provides.
Based on experience, it is best to check websites for what fruits and vegetables are locally in season at any given farm (location and growing conditions can make this vary among the farms), and then call right before you go to see what is actually available when you want to pick. Typically, a farm will provide you with pint, quart or flat trays to fill with your bounty, but call to make sure or bring your own containers, just in case. Many of the farms also operate shops that offer pre-picked produce along with other products -- often including delicious baked treats, jams and other incorporating the farm’s bounty.
Bowman Orchards in Rexford is a farm market with fields where you can start picking strawberries in June. Later in the season, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and cherries are ripe and ready for plucking. 141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford, NY. (518) 371-2042.
June is strawberry month over at Altamont Orchards in Altamont. The fields are open to pickers from June through July. 6654 Dunnsville Road, Altamont, NY. (518) 861-6515.
Strawberries are the most popular for picking at Ariels in Gansevoort, but you will also find red and black raspberries as well as blackberries later in the season. 194 Northern Pines Road, Gansevoort, NY. (518) 584-2189.
Ariel's Farm. Photo from Instagram provided by @jamieaspen
This farm in Galway offers organic blueberries to pick and enjoy. Check their Facebook page for updates, as they are only open to the public when the season is just right. As of now, they will be ready by mid-July. 2186 Alexander Road, Galway, NY. (518) 859-6925.
Hand Melon’s pick-your-own fields offer at least ten different varieties of strawberries, which are ready for harvesting in early June. In July comes fresh blueberries, followed by raspberries. In the later summer months you can also pick fresh vegetables. Hand Melon harvests tomato varieties, hot peppers, and eggplant. The last crop available for picking is squash in the fall. 533 Wilbur Avenue, Greenwich, NY. (518) 692-2376.
If secluded and relaxing is the kind of farm scene you’re after, you may want to make a trip to Winney’s, a local family-owned pick-your-own blueberry farm in Schuylerville. Only open during blueberry season, you can wander their serene grounds from July 4th through late August. Winney’s specializes in different varieties of blueberries, and a conversation with one of the family members will have you fully in the know on all kinds of hybrids and recipes to bring to your own kitchen. 113 Winney Drive, Schuylerville, NY. (518) 695-5547.
Photo Credit: Audra Herman, Marketplace Director of New York Makers
Greig Farm is home to Hudson Valley Farmers Market, where you can stock up every Saturday on local vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheeses, meats, fish, flowers and more from Hudson Valley Farms. You can also pick fresh strawberries and asparagus during the month of June, blueberries in June and July, blackberries in July, apples in September and October, and pumpkins in October. Spend the day at Greig, chit chatting with your local farmers, feeding the goats and checking out the koi pond. At least one visit to Greig Farm is a must this summer. 227 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, NY. (845) 758-1234.
There is always a lot going on at Kelder’s, from a farm market to miniature golf to pick your own fruit, vegetables and flowers. The front yard at Kelder’s is a flower field where you can cut your own zinnias, cosmos, status, snapdragons, sunflowers, salvia, asters and strawflowers. The vegetable options for picking include beans, beets, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, rhubarb, zucchini and more. Fruit and berries like strawberries, grapes and apples are growing and ripening too. Their website features a very convenient chart explaining what treats of nature are in season to pick each month. 5755 Route 209, Kerhonkson, NY. (845) 626-7137.
Photo from Instagram provided by @cambacci123
Story Farms in Catskill offers homegrown fruit, vegetables and flowers at their farm store and U-Pick fields of strawberries and peas, which are open to the public to forage, frolic, and enjoy June through late summer. 4640 Route 32, Catskill, NY. (518) 678-9716.
Photo from Instagram provided by @marcellusramsey
Located in Ghent, Love Apple Farm has plenty for the family to pick, from gooseberries, blueberries and blackberries to peaches, pears and plums. Did we mention sweet and sour cherries as well? The Farm’s website is a helpful resource for what’s in season and when. There is also a cafe, fresh market and bakery and petting zoo. 1421 Route 9H, Ghent, NY. (518) 828-5048.
Photo Credit: Love Apple Farm