Fruit and produce picking make a fun and educational outdoor activity for families while social distancing.
There are several local pick-your-own blueberry farms near the New Orleans area, and now is the perfect time to plan a day trip.
It’s blueberry season, and a majority of local farms open for the season in late May or early June. Most farms also recommend calling in advance or checking their Facebook page or website for opening updates.
According to John Slemmer at Pickyourown.org, first-timers should get prepared before heading out.
The folks at Pickyourown.org offered some great tips for first-timers:
Good to know before you go: Most important, always call to confirm directly with the farm the night before or morning before heading out. You want to make sure that they are open and have the crops you want to pick available. Some farms have plumbed toilets, but unless you are a fan of port-o-potties, “go” at home before you leave!
What to bring: You’re going into a field; it could be muddy, so dress appropriately. Bring boots and old trainers, not high heels or flip-flops. Bring insect repellent along in case for mosquitos. If you are allergic to a bee sting, bring your epi-pen, just in case! Also, pack sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats for the sun. Bring water or something to drink. Many farms provide picnic tables for food you bring.
When to arrive: Many crops, especially strawberries and blueberries, ripen daily, and get picked out by late morning. So go as early as the farm opens for best selection and easiest picking. Going early also avoids the hot sun and heat!
Quick picking tips: Know how to tell when the fruit you are picking is ripe and how to pick and then store it. See this page for picking tips for almost any fruit. When you get home, spread the fruit out, pick out any smashed or damaged ones and follow the fruit-specific tips for storing.
Understand the costs: Know beforehand how much you will pick and the total cost. It’s usually best to bring cash, but you can ask beforehand if farms take credit cards.
U-Pick blueberry farms, listed by parish
St. Tammany Parish
SonLight Farms & Nursery – 83481 Whit Road, Bogalusa, La. | 985-241-0910
SonLight Farms and Nursery boasts fresh chemical-free blueberries ripe for the picking at its Bogalusa farm. The farm opened in late May.
Farm owners encourage visitors to bring a hat, sunscreen, water, closed-toe shoes and bug spray. They also recommend bringing an ice chest as an option.
Hours for blueberry picking are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The pricing is $11 per gallon for you-pick berries. If you don’t have time for picking, guests can opt for prepicked berries at $22 per gallon. The farm accepts cash payments or Venmo.
Ridemore Ranch and Berry Farm – 22154 John T Prats Road, Covington, La. 70435 | 985-630-4326
Ridemore Farm, the horse boarding farm and berry picking destination in Covington, says it’s currently booked for this season. However, more dates may open depending on the berries. Newsletter subscribers will receive an update if more dates open. Guests can subscribe to the newsletter via the website.
The farm allows picking by reservation only via the website, www.ridemorefarm.com.
Sunhillow Berry Farm – 33510 Magee-Mahner Road, Pearl River, La. 70452 | 985-630-1915
Sunhillow Berry Farm in Pearl River opened for the season in early June. Guests can visit the farm for blueberry picking on Fridays through Sundays from dawn to dusk.
The farm recommends wearing closed-toe shoes, bringing bug spray and bringing water.
Sunhillow Berry Farm Pricing is $10 per gallon, and the farm has buckets and bags available. Visit the Facebook page for updates.
Bachman Blueberry Farm – 79126 Crump Road, Bush, La. 70431
Located in Bush, Bachman Blueberries opens daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for picking.
In addition to blueberries, the farm also sells blueberry muffins and blueberry lemonade. Farm owners say they are only accepting cash. No pets are allowed.
Pricing for you-pick blueberries costs $12 per flat-top gallon. Visit the Facebook page for updates or any changes in hours.
Loblolly Ridge Farm – 1000 Andrew Bankston Road, Amite, La. 70422 | 985-748-6843
Loblolly Ridge Farm features two manicured acres of blueberries and a shaded picnic area.
The blueberry farm opens from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sometimes weather conditions may impact hours. Check their Facebook page for updates.
Berries are $10 per gallon cash only.
3D Blueberry Farm – 41031 Highway 1056, Franklinton, La. 70438 | 985-839-2987
This year, 3D Blueberry Farm says their Climax and Premier berry bushes did not produce enough berries to open to the public.
However, the farm says they may have plenty of Tifblue blueberries near the weekend of June 26. Farm owners will make an announcement via the Facebook page when the bushes are ripe enough to open.
L and E Blueberry Farm, LLC – 27159 James Creel Road, Franklinton, La. 70438 | 504-858-3086
This season, L & E Blueberry Farm says it has more than 3,000 blueberry trees ready for picking at its location in Franklinton.
The farm opens daily from 6 a.m. until dusk. Guests can visit and pick their own berries for $10 per gallon bucket. Visit the Facebook page for updates
Know of any other great U-pick blueberry farms near the New Orleans area? Contact us to add your favorite U-pick farm to our list.