Berry-Pickin' Good: 19 U-Pick Berry Farms in Greater Seattle and the South Sound
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries at organic farms, farms with play areas and more
It's shaping up to be another early and prolific berry season in Puget Sound. As of late May, many strawberry farms are already open for U-pick, and raspberries and bluberries will be early, too. What better way to pre-celebrate the long, lazy days of summer than by picking buckets full of juicy, sweet, sun-ripened blueberries straight from the vine?
- Most important: Check farm websites and Facebook pages or call ahead to make sure U-pick is happening and to confirm times.
- Doublecheck the farm's website for address and directions, as some of the map apps don't work as well for more rural locations (eg, we've had trouble arriving at Bolles farm via a map app).
- Arrive early; fields can get picked out by noon. An alternative is, if a farm has plenty of U-pick available, to show up in the late afternoon to avoid crowds and direct sun.
- Keep in mind that fields typically have little shade, so bring plenty of hats, sunscreen, water, snacks, and — for littler kids — some alternative toys such as bubbles.
- Wear closed-toe shoes.
- Bring cash or make sure that the farm accepts credit or checks (the bigger farms usually do).
- Strawberries, because they grow close to the ground, are most physically demanding to pick. Raspberries and blueberries are easier pickin' (at least for grown-ups).
- Especially with small kids in tow, keep your picking expectations low. And remember: You can usually buy pre-picked berries at a farm as well, often for only a fraction more than U-pick prices.
- Boxes or pails are usually provided, or bring your own.
- Typically, farms don't mind if kids eat as they pick (or as they run around) but doublecheck. You could also offer to weigh your child before and after picking. :)
Bolles Organic Berry Farm, Monroe
Willie Green's Organic Farm, Snohomish
Biringer Farm, Arlington
Remlinger Farms, Carnation
Harvold Berry Farms, Carnation
"The berries are huge!" says a fan. Bjornstad sells U-pick raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries, as well as tayberries, blackberries, and marionberries. And it sells fresh-picked corn later in season. 6799 Old Guide Rd., Lynden, 360-961-4702
Get pickin': As of July 3, raspberry U-pick was open; blueberries available starting July 8. Call 360-961-4702 or check the Facebook page to check on U-Pick status.
Schuh Farms, Mt. Vernon
South Sound U-Pick
Picha's Berry Farm, Puyallup
Third-generation farmers Dan and Russ Picha continue their family tradition of growing and harvesting some of the juiciest, sweetest berries around. They run a farm in Tacoma and one in Puyallup, featuring summertime strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Strawberries are the only U-Pick berries, available June–early July. Containers available. 6502 52nd St. E., Puyallup, 253-841-4443
Get pickin’: Strawberry and raspberry U-pick is open. Check the Facebook page for updates or call ahead. Cash and checks only at Tacoma, Puyallup cash, check, credit and debit.
Duris Farm, Kent
Duris Cucumber Farm sells produce and berries at two locations, Puyallup and Kent, but they offer U-Pick only at its Kent location. They also sell green beans, pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash and dill. Directions to Kent location: Take Willis St. exit off 167. Go to the corner of Washington Ave. & Frager Rd. and follow the signs to the field.
Get pickin': Check Facebook page for status of U-Pick.
Mountainview Blueberry Farm, Snohomish
Get pickin’: Blueberry U-pick is open as of July 1. Check website or Facebook page for updates and lots of blueberry recipes. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Buckets provided. They prefer cash but will take cards.
Carpenter Creek Farm, Mount Vernon
Owned by a family who lives in northeast Seattle, Carpenter Creek is a small blueberry farm located just south of Mount Vernon. Stop for ready-picked blueberries as well as U-Pick. Though the farm is not certified organic, it does not use any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers on our farm. Bonus: Keep your eyes peeled for red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, bald eagles, tree frogs, and other animals.
Get pickin': U-pick not open for the season yet. Check the website for picking availability. Cash or check only. Bring your own containers. During picking season, hours tend to be Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Canter-Berry Farms, Auburn
Get pickin’: U-pick not open for the season yet. Check the website or Facebook page.
Blue Dog Organic Blueberry Farm, Carnation
Get pickin’: U-pick not open for the season yet. When open to the public, hours are typically 9 a.m.–noon. Call ahead.
Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm, Bellevue
Get pickin’: U-pick not open for the season yet. Check website for status. Bring checks or cash. Larsen Lake minimizes chemical and pesticide use.
Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm, BellevueJust off I-90 in Bellevue, find another historic blueberry farm that couldn't be more convenient for a quick pick. New this year: Bill Pace produce stand has closed, and Mercer Slough farm is being managed by the Larsen Lake folks. They don't spray. 2380 Bellevue Way S.E., Bellevue.
Henna Blueberry Farm, Fall City
Located in the Snoqualmie River Valley and surrounded by a nature slough, Henna Blueberry Farm grows 10 varieties of exceptionally sweet berries over five acres (they don’t use synthetic pesticides or chemicals). Frogs, turtles, beavers, cranes and others make their home in the slough, so pack a picnic and go “critter-viewing.” The farm uses natural growing practices.1800 Fall City Carnation Rd., Fall City, 425-806-2751 or 206-605-4601
Bryant Blueberry Farm, Arlington
This farm couldn't be more kid-friendly. It has a playground, picnic tables and shady spots to sit and rest, eat, farm animals, and uses sound environmental and sustainable agricultural methods. Besides blueberries, Bryant offers currants, tayberries and raspberries, as well as blackberries, loganberries, and boysenberries, and many berry products. 5628 Grandview Road, Arlington. 360-474-8424
Get pickin': U-pick is open! Check the Facebook page for updates.
Bybee Farms, North Bend
Get pickin': U-pick is open as of July 3! Call 425-888-0821 or 425-888-5745 for the latest info. Normal hours are 9 a.m–8 p.m., most days. $2.10/lb.; cash or check.
Linbo's Blueberry Farm, Puyallup
Linbo's grows 20 (!) varieties of blueberries, all of which are grown pesticide free on the farm. While you're picking, you can enjoy — a reader reports — classical music played on speakers in the fields.
1201 S Fruitland, Puyallup
Get pickin': U-pick opens Saturday, July 8. $2.50/lb. Linbo's is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on the weekends, but check the web page or Facebook for updates.
Charlotte's Blueberry Park, Tacoma (formerly Blueberry Park)
Free blueberry picking in a city park? Who's in? Volunteers maintain the more than 3,000 blueberry bushes in this park, which has been farmed since 1929. Metro Parks does not use any pesticides or fertilizers on the blueberry plants. Volunteer work days are held the third Saturday of the month, March through September, 9 a.m.–noon.
Get pickin': Picking season is July to September, dependent on weather. You can pick five varieties of blueberries. 7402 E D St., Tacoma
Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Chimacum
A certified organic family farm and artisan cidery, Finn River is situated along a restored salmon stream in the Chimacum Valley on the Olympic Peninsula (just south of Port Townsend). Finnriver is not a typical U-PIck farm, but runs a “Berry Collective,” which means U-pickers pay a fee to pick, plus the $3/lb. for the berries. If you go, be sure to check out Finnriver’s amazing hand-crafted hard ciders and spirited fruit wines. 62 Barn Swallow Rd., Chimacum, 360-732-4337