The West is full of U-pick farms; fees vary from farm to farm but typically run between $2.75 and $4.50 per pound.
U-PICK BERRIES AROUND THE WEST
Oregon may well be berry nirvana, but really, anywhere you can find lusciously ripe berries will be heaven. Some tips for pickers: Blackberries are ripe when they have turned from shiny to dull black. Raspberries should fall easily into your hand if you pull gently down on the fruit with your fingers ― the berries "let go" of the plant when they're ripe. If you're lucky enough to find wild blueberries in the West, pick them when they're deep blue, dull, and pull easily off the branch.
Here are some of our favorite U-pick farms around the West (go to pickyourown.org for more choices). Fees vary at each farm, but typically run between $2.75 and $4.50 per pound.
Bybee-Nims Farms Plump blueberries (six types) at the base of Mt. Si. INFO: Mid-Jul–late Aug; 42930 S.E. 92nd St., North Bend, WA; 425/888-5745.
Radke's Blueberries Corvallis family farm with sweet Jersey blueberries, tarter Bluecrop, and Herbert (reminiscent of wild huckleberries), plus bottled blueberry juice. INFO: Jul 9–first week of Sep; 490 S.E. Three Mile Ave., off State 99 west, Corvallis, OR; 541/753-5680.
Sauvie Island Farms Blueberries, marionberries, and raspberries just outside Portland. INFO: Mid-Jun–mid-Sep; closed Sun; 19818 N.W. Sauvie Island Rd., Portland; 503/621-3988.
American River Cherry Co. Blueberries, boysenberries, marionberries, olallieberries, and raspberries. INFO: May 25–Jul 6; closed Sat; 2240 Dias Dr., Placerville; 530/626-3881.
Avila Valley Barn Olallieberries, plus a bakery and sweets shop. INFO: Mid-May–Dec 24; 560 Avila Beach Dr., San Luis Obispo; 805/595-2816.
Julian Mining Company Raspberries, plus hayrides ($3), gold panning (from $5), and tomahawk throwing (from $5). INFO: Sat–Sun mid–Apr–late Dec (raspberry season is Jul–mid-Oct); 4444 Orchard Lane, off State 78, 3 miles west of Julian; 951/845-6029.
Berry Patch Farms Certified organic black, gold, and red raspberries 15 miles north of Denver. INFO: First week of Jun–mid-Nov; closed Sun–Mon; 13785 Potomac St., Brighton, CO; 303/659-5050.