Blueberries

We are closed for the winter and spring.
 
 
We grow the University of Minnesota developed varieties of blueberries.  There are over 2200 plants in our 2 acre blueberry plantation.  Our varieties are:

  • Northblue
  • Cousin of Northblue
  • Saint Cloud
  • Northcounty
  • Chippewa
The blueberries are planted in rows 7 feet apart, mulched with wood chips, and separated by mowed grass aisles.  This allows for very clean berries (without dirt or sand). The majority of our plants are 3 to 4 feet tall and you will be standing most of the time to pick the berries.
 
This year, the season started on July 6. The cost of the berries is $3.75 /# , pick your own.  The berries are in a cluster.  They bloom over several weeks and thus ripen over several weeks.  
 
We mulch the blueberry rows with wood chips.  We chip left over evergreen branches from our Christmas tree operation to add some acidity into the soil as they decompose.  Every year we add over 30 cubic yards of wood mulch to the field.  Mulching of the field helps maintain a constant moisture level for the plant roots and minimizes the use of supplemental irrigation.  Our field is set up for drip irrigation. 
 
Pickers Attire 
 
Here are some helpful hints on what to wear when picking blueberries.  The bushes are generally tall so you will be standing most of the time.  We hook a smaller bucket onto our belt , sometimes with a carabiner, so both hands are free to pick berries.  A long sleeve shirt protects your arms from berry twigs and always add a good sun hat.
 

 
We have a CHILDREN'S POLICY in order to properly manage our field. 
  • Well behaved children age 8 years and older are welcome to pick blueberries in the field. 
  • There must be one adult picking with every 2 children between the ages of 8 and 13.  
  • No children under 8 are allowed in the field. 
  • Our field conditions have changed.  Many of the bushes are 5 to 6 ft. tall with most of the berries on the top 1/3 of the bush.  Smaller children cannot reach that high.  Also, branches are leaning into the walking paths.  Children do not maneuver well in these narrow isles.  When planting our field over 25 years ago, our supplier said the bushes would not exceed 3 ft. and thus our spacing was planned.  Today, we would have opted for an additional 3 ft. between rows. This is what we have and hope you understand our situation.

We will update the Home web page by 3pm daily for the next day picking schedule.

 

Our anticipated picking times will be:

  • Monday thru Saturday: 8 am to noon
  • Tuesday and Thursday evening: 4pm to 7pm (this is in addition to the morning schedule).  No evening picking on July 21 due to the heat.
  • Sunday:  Closed.
  • Check home page for current picking dates.

Weather and/or picking conditions may cause us to close.  We will try and update this website by 3 pm daily for the next day's picking schedule.  Please check back or call before coming out.

Other information you may find useful:

  • The picking season usually lasts for 3 weeks, depending on the weather conditions.   Heat causes the berries to ripen more quickly.
  • Please bring your own picking containers.  We do have loaner ice cream pails to pick into and recycled card board flats (short boxes) to take berries home in case you forget your containers.
  • A dry pint of blueberries weighs 10.4 to 12 oz.
  • We purchased most of our berry plants as Northblue in the period 1988 to 1992, but  have since learned that they are a cousin of Northblue with a more vigorous growth characteristic and they have grown to double their anticipated size.  You will find many plants 5-6 ft. tall and the grass walking aisles are narrower than originally planned.  This makes it easier for adults to pick berries; it is somewhat difficult for children to pick in these areas and there are fewer berries at their level.  We do have some areas that can accommodate children and we try to keep these available for families with children.  Our experience has been that younger people tire of picking after a short time because the blueberries are relatively small and the container does not fill up quickly.
  • Our field closes if it is raining.
  • We are located on US 61 south of Forest Lake.  Refer to the link above right for more detailed directions.  
  • Payment by check or cash please.  We are not set up to accept credit cards during berry season.

We also have a hand washing station and a porta potty on site.

Hand washing station

For cultivation and plant selection, an excellent web page can be found at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG3463.html

We are always on the hunt for new and exciting ways to eat blueberries and publish a new recipe sheet every year.  Look for past years recipes on the RECIPE page.