Your Guide to Berry Picking

 

Summertime means berry time! Visiting a u-pick farm is a fun, affordable way to enjoy fresh-picked strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  It is also a great way to support local farms.

We’ve compiled a list of Snoqualmie Valley farms that let you pick your own, plus some tips so you get the freshest berries possible. And be sure to always check if the fields will be open before you go!

 

Strawberries and Raspberries

Strawberries are the first berries to ripen, usually starting in mid-June and lasting about 3 weeks; however, that can be earlier or later depending on the spring weather. Raspberries follow strawberries and are usually ready for picking in July.

 

Harvold Berry Farm

5207 Carnation-Duvall Rd NE, Carnation
Contact: 425-333-4185 nharvold@yahoo.com.

Payment: debit or credit, no checks
This family owned farm of over 50 years has strawberries and raspberries at affordable prices. Containers are provided. Be sure to visit their Facebook page or call ahead to make sure they are open.

Remlinger Farms

 

Remlinger Farms
32610 NE 32nd St., Carnation,
Contact: 425-333-4135

Payment: cash only in u-pick fields

The 200-acre farm provides both berry picking and entertainment. Remlinger has u-pick strawberries and raspberries and provides containers. After you’ve filled your pail, just walk over to the numerous kid-friendly roller coasters or petting farm at the main farm. (The there is an admission fee to enter the amusement park; however, u-pick fields are free admission.)

 

Blueberries

Blueberries are usually ripe in July and August, but make sure to get out to pick them before they are gone!

 

Blue Dog Farm

7125 W Snoqualmie Valley Road NE, Carnation

Contact: berries@bluedogfarm.com
Payment: by subscription, see website for more details

 

A small, family owned farm, based on a membership model. Blue Dog grows big, sweet, certified-organic blueberries. Members pay $25 for a season and get access to the u-pick beginning in mid-late July, with a less-crowded picking experience than the public farms. This working farm also has cows and chickens, a fun background for the kiddos. Don’t want to jump into a membership? You can also pick up Blue Dog blueberries at Carnation Farmers Market.

 

Bybee Farms
42930 SE 92nd St., North Bend
Contact: 425-444-8175

Payment: cash or check only

Bybee Farms is situated at the base of Mount Si and offers picking with a spectacular view. Bybee has six varieties of blueberries and usually open at the end of July. They use sustainable agricultural methods and provide picking buckets and carry-home containers.

 

Cottage Gardens Blueberry Farm
14510 Kelly Road NE, Duvall

Contact: 425-947-4523
Payment: cash or check only

 

Cottage Gardens farm offers nine varieties of blueberries that ripen from mid-July through early September. The almost 700 blueberry bushes have been in production since the 1930s. In August they also have a large u-cut sunflower garden with many varieties and colors which make beautiful bouquets. Adjacent to the berry and flower fields is a pond and many acres of woods with deer, birds, and other wildlife, so if you are the first pickers of the morning you’ll likely be sharing the field with several deer. Containers are provided.

 

Henna Blueberry Farm

Henna Blueberry Farm

1800 Fall City-Carnation Rd (SR 203) SE, Fall City

Contact: 206-240-1473, nayab222@hotmail.com
Payment: cash or check only

Located in Fall City and surrounded by a nature slough, Henna Blueberry Farm grows 10 varieties of exceptionally sweet berries over five acres. They use natural farming practices, but are not yet certified organic. Frogs, turtles, beavers, cranes, and others make their home in the slough, so pack a picnic and go “critter-viewing.” Henna is generally open from the last week of June until beginning of August, depending on the weather.

 

Here are some tips for getting the best berries:

  • Morning is an ideal time to pick. The weather’s cooler and the fields haven’t yet been picked over.
  • Most u-picks are cash or check only, so be prepared. Prices generally range from $1.25 to $2.50 per pound.
  • Some farms are certified organic, some follow organic practices without being certified, and others take a conventional approach. If you want to know what a farm’s growing practices are, just ask.
  • Kids are welcome, but most farms do not allow dogs.
  • You’ll be out in the sun, crouching and kneeling in the dirt or mud while handling stain-inducing fruit, so dress everyone accordingly. Pack hats, sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. A change of clothes and shoes is a good idea, too.
  • There’s no need to bring your own containers; farms will have low cardboard boxes set inside special carriers ready for you to fill.
  • Berries will keep longer if picked with their green caps intact. Once you’re home, get them in the fridge right away and use or freeze them within a couple days.
  • Check that the farm is open before you head on over.