One of our favorite traditions every spring is to go blueberry picking at Southern Hill Farms in Clermont. We had our first experience there last year and couldn’t wait to go back. Just a short 25 minute drive from downtown, this sprawling, gorgeous and breezy slice of heaven is the perfect weekend, or weekday (the farm is open 7 days a week this year) activity for old and young alike.
Last year was my first experience blueberry picking and I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I don’t think I really even knew what blueberry bushes looked like and was hoping that there wouldn’t be a lot of bending over like with strawberry picking.
Well, we hit the jackpot. The blueberry bushes were tall, almost like small trees and there was hardly any bending at all. Score. The top of the bushes were perfect for the adults and the bottom was the perfect height for E.
After a quick introduction (my son, Everett, goes to daycare with the owners’ grandchildren) and a short how-to lesson, we were off and picking.
- Do not cut through rows (to protect the plants/fruit).
- Only pick the dark blue berries.
We brought the stroller juuuust in case E got tired, and it proved to be a great place to store water, snacks, wipes and full blueberry buckets (the rows are very stroller/wagon accessible). He loved picking, eating and playing in the dirt. We all couldn’t seem to get enough and were definitely in blueberry heaven.
The bushes were full of berries and we honestly did not see one bad berry. There were some that weren’t ripe yet, but none that looked rotten or spoiled…I’m telling you, the blueberries there are GORGEOUS (and huge!).
We left with $20 worth of blueberries that in a grocery store would have cost us about $50 without all of the memories. I encourage all of you in the central Florida area to go check out Southern Hill Farms. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
Here are the U-pick specifics from the Southern Hills website-
2015 Blueberry U-pick Season Information
The start of the blueberry u-pick season in Central Florida typically begins in mid-April, usually lasting about 6 weeks, ending in May, when the berries are at their ripest. We will begin offering updates on starting dates and times for the blueberry u-pick before the harvesting season begins in the spring on our website, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please check back regularly on our website or give us a call when planning a visit to our farm for the most current information regarding dates, times and weather alerts for the u-pick.
*We are now open 7 days a week!*
The blueberry u-pick will be open on April 18, and the season will likely wrap up on May 25. We are open 7 days a week, with the store being open only on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The price this year is $4/lb, and we accept cash, Visa and MasterCard. This year we have added an observation deck, a store and more! Keep checking the website and our Facebook page for pertinent news and events that we have planned. We are looking forward to spending the blueberry season with you soon!
Located at 16651 Schofield Rd. in Clermont, this place will not dissapoint. If you do go, please tell them Everett sent you!
What a difference a year makes!