What’s better than biting into juicy, flavorful fresh fruit? Picking your own garden fresh fruit! Venture into the great outdoors of Richland County this summer where you can find pick-your-own blueberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, and more! Fruit-picking makes for an enjoyable afternoon with a tasty payoff, so bring your family and friends too for a chance to make lasting memories.
Places to Pick-Your-Own
The Blueberry Patch Greenhouse and Gifts is Ohio’s largest Blueberry Farm. With more than 20 years of experience in the blueberry industry, The Blueberry Patch grows hundreds of thousands of blueberry plants in over 27 varieties each year. Whether you’re looking to pick, plant, or buy fresh berries, The Blueberry Patch has what you’re looking for. From June through August, you can try your hand at picking your very own blueberries fresh off the bush. Along with pick-your-own blueberries, blueberry plants are also available for you to plant at home. However, if you’re looking for a quick and easy alternative, The Blueberry patch also sells pre-picked blueberries in a variety of package sizes. Before taking your blueberries home, be sure to stop by Blossom’s Café for a slice of homemade blueberry pie, or stop in the gift shop to pick up the Signature Recipe Book and make your very own!
In addition to The Blueberry Patch, this area is also known for its family-owned and operated apple orchard! With locations in both Mansfield and Fredericktown, Apple Hill Orchards grows 25 varieties of apples along with many other types of fruit and vegetables. From August to November, Apple Hill Orchards offers five different pick-your-own options including apples, peaches, Bartlett Pears, German Prune Plums, and pumpkins. Along with a vast variety of produce, Apple Hill Orchards is also a popular destination to purchase fresh pressed cider and delicious homemade apple treats including their famous apple donuts.
Picking Dates: Peaches (August 1 – September 10), Apples (August 10 – November 10), Pears (September 1 – September 10), Plums (September 5 – September 10). It is important to note that these dates are tentative and could change due to the growing conditions, so be sure to call ahead of time before making your plans!
Pick-Your-Own Tips and Tricks
Before heading out here are some things to keep in mind:
- Be sure to call ahead of time to ensure the fruit is ready to pick!
- Go early in the season. If you wait until the last minute, there might not be any fruit left to pick.
- Ask if you will need to bring your own buckets. If so, bring a small bucket for picking and a large container to empty your picking buckets into.
- Wear old clothes and be prepared to get dirty/sticky!
- Be prepared for the weather. Stay hydrated and bring sunscreen.
- After picking your fruit, leave it in an open container to prevent moisture while the fruit is still warm from the sun.
- Store your fruit in the refrigerator and don’t wash it until you’re ready to eat it in order to increase its shelf life.
- If you have questions about picking be sure to ask the workers!
Summer and Beyond
Even after summer comes to a close, you can continue the picking by picking out your own Christmas tree at Kleerview Farms. Ditch the artificial trees and make a day at Kleerview Farms a part of your family’s Christmas tradition. Choose between firs, spruces, White Pine, and Scotch Pine to find your perfect tree. Starting at the end of October, Kleerview encourages you to come find and tag your Christmas tree. Then, when it’s time to break out the Christmas décor, get your snow gear ready and get back to Kleerview Farms to cut down your custom picked tree. Then, for a day your family won’t forget, stay for a Christmas Storytime by a special guest and stop by Santa’s Barnyard Express for a chance to see the real live reindeer. You can even rent a reindeer for a special event.
Whether you’re picking your own fruit or picking out your Christmas tree, there’s no better feeling than knowing exactly where it came from before making its way into your home. By picking your own produce you can save money, pick at the peak of freshness, support local farmers, and create lasting memories!
For activities happening at these locations, check DestinationMansfield.com.
Written by Destination Mansfield – Richland County Intern Rachel Gies