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With summer in full swing, that means one thing – berries are growing and are ready to picked. It is so much fun grabbing your berry pail and foraging for berries. If you don’t live in an area where berries grow naturally, you can also go to a berry picking farm and partake in the festivities. Call the farms to see when their berries are ready to be picked. For those going out into nature for berries, check to see when the best times are for your area.
Berry Picking Seasons
This is a general guide as to when berries are ready, but please note that these can be different based on what part of the US you live in.
- May: Strawberries
- June – July: Strawberries and cherries
- June – August: Blueberries and blackberries
- July – October: Raspberries
What to Bring
You should pack for a day trip whether you are going to a berry picking farm or out into nature. A picnic lunch works great, along with snacks and drinks. Don’t forget disposable wipes as your hands will get sticky! You need a container to use to put the berries in while you are picking them and to bring them home.
Make sure to put on sunscreen and wear a hat when out in the hot summer sun. Good shoes are needed too, no flip flops as the ground can be quite slippery. In rainy areas, this is the perfect time to bust out your XtraTufs.
Tips and Tricks to Berry Picking
Almost all berries do best when picked earlier in the day than in the late, hot afternoon sun. Blackberries are soft and come off the plant easily in the morning and can get bruised if picked when it is too warm. Blueberries that don’t come off the plant easily are not yet ripe, so leave them for a few more days. Remember to pick strawberries with the stem still attached so that they last longer.
Ideas For All Those Berries
Rinse the berries off and keep them in a cool, dry place. They are easy to freeze in storage bags to use in the winter. You can also make jams and jellies with the excess or with any berries that have ripened quicker than the others. Fresh berries are great as a snack, on top of ice cream or yogurt, and excellent in your morning smoothies.