We're blessed with ample farmland just over an hour's drive from almost anywhere in the two counties. Harvest buckets of blueberries—while snacking straight from the branch(!)—at a limited-run annual U Pick at Pineywood Morels in Arcadia.
The pesticide-free farm hosts its commercial season from February to May, reaping the majority of the bleuets from the sprawling fields, but each year its owner reserves the last few weeks of his growing season for local families to roam and pluck the sweetest little juicy fruits from a few long rows of bushes. This year’s kicked off May 9. Every day until June 1, he will open the gates from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and let you strap on a bucket and pick away.
Most bushes grow to about shoulder level on an adult, and the branches bear fruit starting just a few inches from the ground, so even the tiniest hands can pluck them. Half a bucket yields about two quarts, and you pay by the pound. We were three adults with one little helper who was more interested in snacking than working, and in about an hour we gathered the equivalent of about 12 half-pints staying in just one row of bushes for a grand total of $24. As anyone knows, blueberries have a great fridge life and freeze well if you don’t wet them first (we took ours home in a cooler in our trunk), so our excursion was way cheaper and oh-so-much more fun than a run to the grocery store.
To plan a visit:
Blueberry U Pick until June 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
880 North Johnson Ave., Arcadia