One of my fondest childhood memories is a visit to a strawberry field in Maryland with my friend Ann. We rolled in on a Scooby Doo bus, tasked with filling buckets and pulling weeds. Little did they know that those weeds had nothing to fear from me, as I instead proceeded to test how many berries I could consume in an hour.
When my children were barely toddlers, I introduced them to the pleasures of pick your own fruit. In the spring, we visited The Farm at Kristy’s Barn for strawberries and in the fall, we headed to Goold’s Orchards for the apples (and cider donuts.) Our love affair with pick your own fruit didn’t end there, however, and soon our yard was covered with fruit trees and berry plants of all shapes and sizes. Now, after the wildlife gets their cut, we may find any of the following home grown fruit: cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, peaches, and pears.
Despite our best efforts, our little home farm is not big enough to satisfy the family’s fruit cravings. We’ll supplement our harvest by foraging along hiking trails for fresh berries and visiting pick your own farms for the freshest produce.
When To Pick These Fruits
Approximate harvest dates in New York can vary widely, call to confirm.
- Apples – September 1 – October 25
- Blackberries – July 15 – July 30
- Blueberries – August 1 – September 10
- Cherries – June 10 – June 25
- Grapes – September 10 – September 20
- Peaches, Nectarines – July 20 – September 1
- Pears – August 10 – August 31
- Raspberries – July 5 – July 21
- Raspberries (Fall and everbearing) – August 15 – September 30
- Strawberries – June 5 – June 20
Where to Pick Your Own Fruit
Click on www.pickyourown.org to find a farm near you, fruit picking tips, and recipes. In the Capital Region, you can visit the following farms:
- Altamont Orchards, Inc – U Pick strawberries and apples. 6654 Dunnsville Road, Altamont, NY 12009. Phone: 518-861-6515. Strawberries: usually finish by the beginning of July; Please bring your own containers, and the 2005 strawberries pyo prices were $1.35/lb. The Pick Your Own (PYO) Fields are located on Route 146 in Altamont. About 1 one half miles before the Altamont Fair entrance.
- Indian Ladder Farms – apples, blueberries, pumpkins, raspberries (red), raspberries (Spring, red), raspberries (Autumn, red), strawberries, tomatoes, 342 Altamont Road Route 156, Altamont, NY 12009. Phone: 518-765-2956. Open: For all fruits or vegetables, begin PYO at least 1 hour before scheduled closing of the Farm Market. Directions: Click here for a map and directions.
- The Barn – U Pick Apples. 2510 Route 27, Hudson NY, 12534. Phone: 518-851-7346. Also, Roadside Stand
- Cherry Ridge Farms – apples, apricots, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, and prepicked produce. 4150 Route 23, Hudson, NY 12534. Phone: (518) 828-7018. For a map to our farm, click here. Crops are usually available in July, August, September. Open: 9am to 5pm most days in the summer. Payment: Cash, Check.
- Don Baker Farm – Pick your own cherries, pears and apples. 183 Route 14, Hudson NY, 12534. Phone: 518-828-9542. Also, Roadside Stand – Seasonally fresh fruits and vegetables. Open June and August thru October. Hours: Every day 9am to 5pm, June through October.
- Fix Brothers Inc. – apples, cherries, peaches, pumpkins. 247 White Birch Road, Hudson, NY 12534. Phone: (518) 828-7560. Open: Cherries and Peaches – Monday to Sunday 8:30am to 5:00pm until end of season Apples and Pumpkins – Monday to Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm until end of season. Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Picking updates: Click here for picking updates. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. Cherries – end of June Peaches – beginning of August Apples and pumpkins – mid September. Payment: Cash, Check.
- Golden Harvest Farms Inc – U Pick Apples. 3074 US Rte 9, Valatie NY, 12184. Phone: 518-758-7683. Also, Roadside Stand, Farm Market, Cider
- Hotaling’s Farm Market – U-Pick apples and raspberries. Route 9H – Claverack, 12513. Phone: 518-851-9864. 160 acres of apples, peaches, pears, plums, vegetables and a bakery. Open daily 9 to 6.
- Love Apple Farms – U-Pick apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums, and pears. 1421 Route 9H, Ghent, NY 12075. Phone: 518)828-5048. Hours: Every day 8am to 6pm, June through December. U-pick 8:00 a.m. ’til 5:00 pm, daily. Cherries – 12 Varieties; Peaches – 24 Varieties ; Nectarines; Plums – 16 Varieties; Pears – 8 Varieties. Apples varieties: Gala, Golden Supreme, McIntosh, Macoun, Honeycrisp, Red Cort, Cortland, Jonamac, Spartan, Empire, Jonathon, Jonagold, Jonagored, Yataka, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Fortune, Ida Red, Fuji, Braeburn, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Ginger Gold, Paula Red, Jersey Mac, Zesta
- Philip Orchards – plums, pears, apples, and raspberries, currents and gooseberries. 270 Route 9H – Claverack, NY 12513 – (518)851-6351 Our entire 100 acre crop of is for pick-your-own. Picnickers welcome. August through October
- The Pickin Shack at Hellers Farm – Christmas trees, grapes 48 Hover Avenue – Route 9G & Hover Avenue, Germantown, NY 12526. Phone: 518)537-6076. Click here for a map to our farm. We are open September, October, November, December. Our hours are: Farm Stand Open 7 days a week 9 am to 7pm until Halloween ReOpen Friday after Thanksgiving Thursday-Sunday 9 am to dark until Christmas Eve Concord and Niagara Grapes Picked beginning Labor Day Weekend.
- Rider Farm – U Pick Apples. 100 Sawmill Road, Germantown NY, 12526. Phone: 518-537-6843. Also Farm Market
- Samascott Orchard – U Pick Apples, Blueberries, Sour Cherries, Plums, Green Peppers, Pumpkins, Beans, Summer Squash, Tomatoes and Cucumbers5 Sunset Avenue, Kinderhook NY, 12106. Phone: 518-758-7224. Also, Farm Market, Cider. Directions page.
- Shortcake Farm – Pick your own strawberries. Route 23B – Hudson, NY 12534. Phone: 518)851-7676. Also a farm stand with seasonally fresh fruits and vegetables, apple cider and craft shop. Open June thru October. Hours: Every day 9am to 6pm, June through October.
- Smith Farms – apples, blackberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, raspberries (red), raspberries (Autumn, red.) 200 Whitebirch Rd, Hudson, NY 12534. Phone: 518-828-1228. Open: starting June 12,2010, from 9am to 5 pm; Click here for a map and directions. We start with sweet cherries on June 12; We are open daily from 9am to 5 pm. Everbearing raspberries are available steadily, as they ripen. New canes on irrigation. Come early in the day. We are usually picked out by noon! Payment: Cash, only.
- Thompson-Finch Farm – ORGANIC, U Pick Apples, strawberries. 750 Wiltsie Bridge Road, Ancram NY, 12502. Phone: 518-329-7578. The largest pick your own organic strawberry farm in New England!
- V&R Saulpaugh & Sons – pick-your-own grapes and pumpkin. 2329 Route 9, Livingston, NY 12541. Phone: 518)537-6494. We sell only what we grow and pick fresh daily. We have crops from mid-September to mid-Oct. Hours: Every day 8am to 6pm, June through October
- Wintje Farms – Pick your own apples, cherries, pears, plums and pumpkins. Route 9G, Germantown, NY 12526 – (518)537-6072 – Open June thru November.
- Yonder Farms Fruit Dist. LLC – U Pick Apples. 301 Route 66, Suite 2, Hudson NY, 12534. Phone: 518-828-1151. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Also, Roadside Stand, Farm Market
- Boehm Farm – Apples, peaches, nectarines and pears. Route 26, Climax NY, phone 518-731-6196
- Bulich’s Creekside Farm – Pick your own strawberries and pumpkins in season. Open 10-6pm, May to October. Homegrown produce; vegetables, sweet corn, tree fruit, berries, horticultural plants, nursery stock and flowers. 1682 Route 23B Leeds, NY 12451, phone: 518-943-5739
- Schnare’s Sunset Orchard – Pick your own apples. July to December, 7 days a week, 8am – 5pm. Seasonal fruits until we run out. Several varieties of apples and many apple products. Cider and donuts. 1008 Route 81, Climax, NY 12042, phone: 518-731-8846
- Story Farms – Pick your own strawberries and peas in season. Open June to November every day. Farm stand featuring fresh produce, picked daily. Also, fruits, flowers, maple syrup, honey and hay. 4640 Route 32, Catskill, NY 12414, phone: 518-678-9716
- Best Berry Farm – U Pick Apples and strawberries. 1078 Best Road Box 142 B, East Greenbush NY, 12061. Phone: 518-286-0607.
- Goold Orchards Inc – Apples, pumpkins, raspberries, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, corn maze, and prepicked produce. 1297 Brookview Station Road, Castleton-on-Hudson, NY 12033. Phone: 518-732-7317. Map to our farm, click here. Open: Pick-Your-Own 7 Days 9 am to 4pm Sept1 – Nov 30
- Engelke Farm – Pumpkins. 463 Garfield Road, Troy, NY. Phone: 518-279-3971.
- The Farm At Kristy’s Barn – Strawberries, Red Raspberries, Black Raspberries, Currants Apples, Pumpkins. 2385 Brookview Rd. Schodack, NY. 12033. Phone: (518) 477-6250. Directions: click here for a map and directions. Open: May 1st to Thanksgiving, Closed July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, & Sundays in November; Call for more specific hours. Typical U-Pick season is: Strawberries – Early June through July 4th, Red Raspberries – 1st week in July through mid August, Black Raspberries – 2nd week in July through mid August, Currants – mid July through mid August, Apples – Early September through mid October, Pumpkins – End of September through October.
- Liberty Ridge Farm – blueberries, pumpkins, raspberries (red). 29 Bevis Road, Schaghticoke, NY 12154. Phone: 518-664-1515. Fax: 518-664-5992. Open: July and August 9am to 6pm weekdays; 9am to 5pm weekends; Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Click here for a map and directions. Stop on by for Pick Your Own blueberries and raspberries.
- Swartz Orchard – pick your own strawberries and pick your own vegetables (the apple orchard has been removed)1532 Eleanor Dr, Castleton NY, 12033. Phone: 518-732-7420. Also, Roadside Stand.
- Ariel’s Farm – U-Pick Strawberries. 194 Northern Pines Road Wilton, NY 12831, (518) 584-2189
- Bowman Orchards – Pick your own and picked apples, cider and donuts.141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford NY, 12148. Phone: 518-371-2042. Roadside Stand, Farm Market
- Bowman Orchards North – U Pick Apples. 107 Van Aervunem Road, Ballston Spa NY, 12020. Phone: 518-885-8888. And a Farm Market, Cider
- The Charlton Fruit Farm – follow organic methods, strawberries, prepicked produce. 4074 Jockey Street, Charlton, NY 12019. Phone: 518-399-6563. And for a map to our farm, click here. Crops are usually available in June, July. Open: call for availability. We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified. Payment: Cash, only.
- Devoe’s Rainbow Orchards – U Pick Apples. 1569 Halfmoon Parkway, Route 9, Clifton Park NY, 12065. Phone: 518-371-8397. Roadside Stand
- Fo-Castle Farm Country Store Inc – U Pick Apples. 166 Kingsley Road, Burnt Hills NY, 12027-9531. Phone: 518-399-8322. And a Farm Market
- Ellms Family Farm – U Pick Pumpkins. 468 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa, NY. Phone: 518-884-8168.
- Hicks Fruit Farm – U Pick Apples. 160 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford NY, 12148. Phone: 518-371-5620. And a Farm Market
- Knight Orchards – Orchard-grown fruits sold in shop. 325 Goode Street, Burnt Hills, NY. Phone: 518: 399-5174.
- Lindsey’s Idyllwood Orchard – U Pick Apples. 753 Grooms Road, Rexford, NY, 12148-1414. Phone: 518-365-3611. Email: email@example.com. And a Farm Market
- Riverview Orchards – U Pick Apples. 660 Riverview Road, Rexford, NY, 12148. Phone: 518-371-2174. And a Farm Market, Special Events
- Saratoga Apple, Inc – U Pick Apples. 1174 Route 29, Schuylerville, NY, 12871. Phone: 518-695-3131.
- Schuyler Farms – Pumpkins. 1124 Route 29, Schuylerville, NY, 12871. Phone: 518-695-5308.
- Buhrmaster Family Farm – U Pick Apples. 189 Saratoga Road, Scotia NY, 12302. Phone: 518-399-5931. And a Farm Market
- Bohringer’s Fruit Farm – Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries.Rte 30, Fultonham, NY. Open: June through October 8-5.
- Pick a Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch – pumpkins. 2716 Creek Road, Esperence, NY 12066. Phone: 518-868-4893. Click here for a map to our farm. We are open October. Our hours are: Monday to Friday: 3-8 pm, Saturday: 10-8 pm, Columbus Day: 10-8 pm, CLOSED SUNDAYOpen last Saturday in September through Halloween; always closed on Sundays.
- Pumpkin Pete’s Family Fun Farm – pumpkins, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field. 5704 State Route 30, Schoharie, NY 12157. Phone: 1518-295-7101. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open: Pumpkin Petes is for pick your own pumpkins on Saturdays And Sundays September 26 through October 31st from 9 am till dark. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only.
- Terrace Mountain Orchard – apples, Honey from hives on the farm, prepicked produce.Apple Blossom Lane,, Schoharie, NY 12157. Phone: 518-295-8212. Click here for a map and directions. Crops are usually available in September, October, November. Open: Monday thru Friday 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sundays 9 am to 5 pm. Payment: Cash, only.
- Billy Bob’s Orchard – apples, and prepicked produce. 720 County Road, Putnam Station, NY 12861. Phone: (518) 547-8309.Open: Fall Hours: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Payment: Cash, only.
- Fairview Orchard – U Pick Apples. 11962 State Route 4, Whitehall NY, 12887. Phone: 518-499-1766. Roadside Stand, Cider.
- Hand Melon Farm – Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, Fall raspberries533 Wilbur Avenue, State Route 29, Greenwich, NY 12834. Phone: 518 692-2376. Fax: 518 692-2376. Directions: Across from the Washington County Fairgrounds. Pick your own strawberries in June, blueberries in July.
- Hicks Orchard – U Pick apples, cherries, blueberries, raspberries.18 Hicks Road, Granville NY, 12832. Phone: 518-642-1788. Directions: Click here for directions.
- Kelly’s Emerald Feeds LLC – beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, herbs/spices, onions, peppers, pumpkins, raspberries (red), rhubarb, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, other vegetables, already-picked produce (of the pyo crop), picnic area672 County Line Rd, Queensbury, NY 12804. Phone: 518-793-5474. Open: Monday to Saturday 8:00am to 7:00pm Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm. Click here for a map and directions.
- Moses Vegetable Farm – corn (sweet), peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes, other vegetables, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, and prepicked produce. Route 67, Eagle Bridge, NY 11111. Phone: 518-686-7729. Directions: Intersection of Route 67 & 22 Crops are usually available in May, October. This is the famous farmland that once belonged to Grandma Moses, inherited by her children and grand-children who operate it today. Customers say they are renowned for the variety and quality of the vegetables they grow.
- Sbardella Orchards – apples.141 Manchester Road, Hampton, NY. Phone: 802-345-2704. Directions: Click here for a map.
- Winney Farm – Blueberries.113 Winney Road (Rt 32), Schuylerville, NY 12871. Phone: (518) 695-5547. Directions: 3 miles North of Schuylerville NY. Open: 8 am to 6 pm daily.
Celebrate at a Fruit Festival
Enjoy the harvest at a fruit festival!
- Strawberry Festival at the Old Stone Fort Museum Complex – Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 7-9PM. Enjoy some music by the Knox Traditional Strings and strawberry shortcake on a summers evening. Cost $6.
- Austerlitz/Spencertown Blueberry Festival – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Austerlitz Site, Route 22m Austerlitz, NY. Phone: 518-392-0062. Annual festival will include: blueberry pancake breakfast, home-baked pies for sale and other blueberry baked goods. Fair includes 19th and 20th Century crafts, such as pottery, weavings, tinsmith art and paper cutting. Blueberry bushes will be for sale to the public and there will be live music and entertainment. All proceeds will go to the Austerlitz Historical Society to help develop a historical village on the site. 19th C. craft demonstrations and wares, antiques, live music and children’s entertainment, blueberry recipe contest and blueberry pancake breakfast.
- 22nd Annual Apple Festival & Craft Show at Goold Orchards – Saturday and Sunday, October 9-10, 2010, 9AM-5PM, a celebration of the arts, crafts, and agriculture of the Capital Region…again this year there will be Pride of New York and Uncork NY food vendors and wineries. We will have an array of crafters displaying and selling their handmade wares as well as Pride of NY farm producers with their specialty food items. Don’t forget to stop by the Schodack Valley Fire Companies Food Concession. Maple Hill Key Club will host the Haunted House this year.
Great Resource from CDPHP: Farm Fresh: A Guide to Pick-Your-Own Farms and Recipes
Did I miss any U-Pick farms? Please share!
Sandra Foyt | Sandra Foyt inspires lifelong-learners to travel the world. A former education advocate and enrichment coach, she lived in Buenos Aires, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Southern California before settling in Northeast NY with two teens, an outdoorsy husband, and a well-indulged Chocolate Lab. Sandra contributes to Being Latino, and her portfolio appears at www.SandraFoyt.com. Email: email@example.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.