Get your fill of berries at pick-your-own farms
By Annie Alleman June 12, 2013 3:56PM
Cherries are available at a few Illinois farms. | File photo
Updated: July 15, 2013 3:52PM
There’s nothing like fresh berries right off the vines, and the time is just about right to start picking.
Did you know that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on average, Americans consume 4.8 pounds of fresh and frozen strawberries a year? The time is “ripe” to go out and pick your fill at an area farm. Here’s a handy guide to find out where to get your pick of the patch of strawberries, blueberries and more.
It’s always a good idea to call ahead or visit the farm’s website to check the rules and ensure supply.
Olive Berry Acres: 2575 W. Mine Road, Mazon, Ill., (815) 474-6511, oliveberryacres.com. Hours: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, closed Mondays. Olive Berry Acres offers red and purple strawberries for you-pick and pre-pick. There are also red, purple and black raspberries available from late June through the first frost. Additionally, there are rhubarb and asparagus. Customers are encouraged to check the website, Twitter or Facebook page to make sure items are available. Cash, credit and debit cards are accepted.
Tammen Treeberry Farm: 37131 Essex Road, Wilmington, Ill., (815) 458-6264, tammentreeberryfarm.net. Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, closed Sundays. Blueberries are usually ready for picking in mid-July. But according to Tammen’s Facebook page, the farm is expecting the cool spring weather to push the opening date for blueberry picking back a week or two. Start calling or checking the website in July. The farm accepts cash, check and all major credit and debit cards. There are rest rooms and a picnic area on-site.
Greenfield Farms: 0S951 Green Road, Elburn, Ill., Berries@andersale.com. Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk daily. The farm’s raspberries are usually ready for picking in mid-August. Cash or check accepted. Bring your own picking basket or bucket and save.
Cody’s Farm: 19502 River Road, Marengo, Ill., (815) 568-7976, codysfarm.com. Depending on weather, the farm expects the strawberries will be ready for you-pick in mid-June. Check the website for exact dates, and for dates for the annual Strawberry Festival. Raspberry you-pick starts in July. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Cash and check accepted.
Grace Farm Studios: 2719 Franklinville Road, Woodstock, Ill., (815) 790-8895, email@example.com. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays by appointment, closed Sundays and Mondays. This farm offers several varieties of raspberries, but they recommend you call in advance for availability. Raspberries will be ready to pick in June; sign up on the website for email alerts that will be sent out when the fruit is ready. Cash, check, Visa and MasterCard accepted.
Heider’s Berry Farm: 1100 North Queen Anne Road, Woodstock, Ill., (815) 338-0301. Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily as long as berries are available. Strawberries will be available for you-pick starting in mid- to late June, raspberries during July and again from about Sept. 1 to the first frost. Call ahead for each day’s picking conditions and availability. Cash and check accepted.
McCann Berry Farm: 18110 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock, Ill., (815) 568-8810, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Call ahead if coming after noon. Strawberries were to be ready around June 12, but call ahead for picking conditions. Cash and check accepted.
Stade’s Farm & Market: 3709 West Miller Road, McHenry, Ill., (815) 675-6396, stadesfarmandmarket.com. Open 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily May-October. In addition to the corn, soybeans and other vegetables grown on this 2,200-acre family farm, Stade’s also offers strawberries, Michigan blueberries and cherries, and rhubarb. Customers will be able to begin to pick their own strawberries soon; check the countdown calendar on the website or their Facebook page for exact dates. There will be a Father’s Day pig roast on June 16.
Garden Patch Farms and Orchard: 14154 W. 159th St., Homer Glen, (708) 301-7720, gardenpatchfarms.com. Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Pick-your-own blackberries, cherries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries or strawberries; check website for exact ripening dates and to sign up for alerts. Call ahead to check on fruit availability.
Annie Alleman is a local freelance writer.