by Natashia E Ford
This past weekend I spotted a sign announcing my local blueberry U-Pick farm, Tom West Blueberries, is now open for picking.
Florida’s berries are harvested before other locations around the country. The season gives Florida farmers an advantage by limiting their competition. – Florida Blueberry Growers Association
I’m a huge fan of activities that get the kids out of the house and unplugged from their electronics. Activities that involve nature are always a win with me. Plus, blueberries give my morning smoothies that much needednutritional punch so having fresh picked berries in the house is a good thing.
The Experience at Tom West
What’s really cool about the U-picking at Tom West is that they offer more than just a blueberry picking experience. The farm, which overlooks a lake, can easily become a daylong outing. Head there early, pick to your heart’s content (they grow four different types of blueberries), and relax at one of the shaded picnic tables they offer. On the weekends, you can enjoy tractor rides and other family friendly fun! Before you leave, grab some of that blueberry honey or jam they sell. You’ll be glad you did!
The blueberries at Tom West are not organic, but the farm states that they use minimal chemicals and weed by hand.
Cost: No admission fee, simply pay for what you pick. They only accept cash.
Location: 155 W Oakland Ave, Ocoee FL 34761
Tom West too far for you? Looking for an organic farm?
7 U-Pick Tips
- Pack water, a hat, sunscreen.
- Wear loose fitting clothes and sneakers.
- Spending the day? Bring a small cooler for your berries.
- No dogs allowed on the farms.
- Pick the firm berries and be careful not to remove the tops of the berries when picking from the bush.
- Call ahead to verify opening and closing times & payment options.
- Follow your favorite farm(s) on their social sites for updates.
Heading to the Blueberry Festival in Tampa this weekend? If so, I’m sure you’ll be able to get some yummy blueberry wine since the event is being held at one of Florida’s many wineries.
What are your plans for the weekend? Tom West (or one of the many u-pick blueberry farms) hopes to see you bright and early to beat the heat and the expected blueberry rush!
Pick & be merry!
P.S. If you have any creative blueberry recipes you’d like to share, post them on ourFacebook page we’d love to feature some of them!