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Family Activity: 5 Tips for Summer Berry Picking

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Going summer berry picking is something I always enjoyed as a kid! I have such fond memories of picking strawberries with my grandparents and picking wild black raspberries around with my mom.

The sun-kissed days of summer are upon us, painting the world in vibrant hues and beckoning families to embark on delightful outdoor adventures. And what better way to embrace the season's bounty than with a classic and joy-filled activity – summer berry picking! As nature's generous gift, this cherished pastime not only allows us to connect with the earth but also promises a treasure trove of sweet, succulent berries to savor.

Gathering your loved ones for a day of berry picking amidst lush orchards and fragrant fields is an experience that will create lasting memories for years to come. Whether you're searching for the juiciest strawberries, plump blueberries, or the ruby-red allure of raspberries, the bountiful harvest is sure to tantalize your taste buds and bring smiles to young and old alike.

Just picked Blueberries,  Raspberries, and Black Raspberries

In this blog post, I will be your berry-picking guide, offering five invaluable tips to ensure your family's summer berry-picking adventure is nothing short of delightful. From choosing what to wear, and bring to discovering the best techniques for picking and preserving your cherished harvest, these tips will help you make the most of this charming outdoor escapade.

5 Tips for Summer Berry Picking

When finding where to go make sure you call ahead to determine what fruits are in season. We went at the beginning of July on Long Island when blueberries, raspberries, and black raspberries were in season. Even if the fruit you want isn't in season you will still be making family memories! Below I will give you my tips and tricks to make this family outing successful!

Tip #1 - Pack hats

Large-brim hats are the best for picking. They will keep the sun off you and keep you a little cooler vs in the sun. Bring a hat even if you don't think you will need one. I promise once you get picking you will want a hat.

Tip #2 - Bring Cash

Most of these U-Pick places are cash only. Make sure to bring enough cash to cover how many berries you are going to pick.

Tip #3 - Wear dark-colored clothes

Try not to wear anything white or brand new. Anything that gets berry juice on it will stain. I know your first thought is to wear white clothes but I promise if you do get berries on a dark color you won't see it as much. I also suggest bringing wipes or something to clean your hands and the berry smash you will have from that snacking in the fields.

Wear old sneakers that you don't mind if they get berries on them. I don't suggest sandals or flip-flops. The fields are full of bees, sticks, and prickers. Not a place for sandals or flip-flops.

Tip #4 - Prepare your little berry pickers

Prep and talk to your kids in advance. Tell them which berries to pick and how gentle they need to be. Consider your child's age and temperament. Understand that most children will start to get bored or "hot" after 30 mins. You won't be able to pick all the berries you want or every type in one visit, and that's ok. You can make another fun trip and come back! Today we definitely tested the kid's limits the first 20 mins everyone was loving it and we picked close to 4 buckets of blueberries quickly, then we moved on to raspberries and we lost one kid wanting to sit in the car with Grandpa. We only picked 2 buckets of raspberries. By the time we went on to pick black raspberries, we lost all 3 kids and they were picking on each other while my mom and I were trying to pick so quickly to get as many as we could in a short amount of time. We only got 1.5 buckets of black raspberries.

Overall the kids did great they were just so tired from being in the sun that they just wanted to end it after 30 mins. My suggestion is to keep it to 2 varieties max and pick your favorite first and set a timer for 15 mins on each berry that way you won't have the meltdown at the end like we had.

Tip #5 - Wash the berries

Once you get home the best thing you can do to extend the life of your berries is to wash them in a 3-1 ratio of water and vinegar. Just a quick dip will kill mold and bacteria and keep your berries in pristine condition longer than if you don't. After the water/vinegar dip then dry them to prevent excess water that will spoil the berries.

As you return home, perhaps with berry-stained fingers and smiling faces, we encourage you to take our five valuable tips to heart. Embrace the spirit of the season and discover new ways to incorporate your cherished berries into delectable recipes and refreshing treats, preserving the essence of summer in each bite.

In the years to come, we hope you'll look back on this family activity with fondness, knowing that amidst the simplest joys of life lie the most profound memories. So, let summer berry picking become an annual tradition – a delightful ritual that brings your family together, ignites the spirit of adventure, and reminds us all of the beauty that surrounds us.

Thank you for joining us on this enchanting journey of berry picking. Until next time, may your summers be filled with laughter, love, and the sweet allure of nature's gifts. Happy berry picking!

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