Nick, Sally and I have picked 9 times so far.  We’ve visited 8 different farms.  Wintergreen Tree Farm is the first farm that we have repeated this summer.  We love blueberries and had an awesome plentiful picking experience on Tuesday, so we returned today.

Here are my favorite photos from today.  Nick and Sally are all ready to pick with their buckets (which are really temporary holding locations for a few berries that they eat).  The enthusiasm of picking wore off quickly and we made good use of our blanket once again.  They get lots of fresh air and I get serenaded while I pick berries.


Here’s Sally and Nick with the attendant Julie.  She already knows the kids.  Nick was concentrating on holding the bucket of berries and therefore was not looking at the camera.  7 pounds is heavy for a 3 year old.


We ended up picking 7.3 pounds of blueberries for $10.91.  They are $1.50 a pound.


Today, we had GREAT blueberry picking at Wintergreen Tree Farm in Mantua.  It took us about 40 minutes to get there from Mayfield Heights.  They are located near route 44, south of 422.

We saw a couple of Pick your own signs along our route.  They made it easy to find the location without driving past.  This U-Pick farm is low key.  There is one attendant who works out of a large shed type of building. We were greeted by Julie.  This is her family’s farm, so she has worked here a long time. She was very friendly and especially nice to the kids.


The parking lot was very close to the road.  So, truck entertainment was enjoyed by Sally and Nick.


The kids start out picking.  They are usually excited to pick when we first arrive.


There were so many blueberries on the bushes.  I think I only picked at 4 large bushes.  That’s 2 pounds per bush!  They were huge bushes.


The kids got bored early, so we got the blanket out of the car.  They sang “row row row your boat” complete with clapping at the end of the song.  Nick makes up verses just like me so it’s extra fun to hear him sing.


Julie took a photo of us when we finished.  I’m wearing a 32 oz. yogurt container with string around my neck to allow for 2 handed picking.  It worked great.  Whenever it started to get full or the kids needed something, I dumped the berries into the larger (provided) bucket.  When we were done, Julie weighed our berries which we took home in a large plastic bag.  Then, I put them into containers.  We froze the 3 containers on the right, I made a blueberry pie and we left some in the fridge for snacking and blueberry muffins.


We ended up picking 8.08 pounds of berries.  Our total was $12.12.  They are $1.50 per pound.  For reference, there is about one and a half pounds to a quart of blueberries.  So far this summer, we have done U-Pick 8 times without repeating a farm.  Since blueberries are my favorite, I think we’ll be going back to Wintergreen Tree Farm a couple of more times while we can get good picking.

Wintergreen Tree Farm is located at 3898 Winchell Rd, Mantua, OH 44255.  Their phone number is (330) 221-3835.


Today, we continued our U-Pick adventures at Voytko Farms.  It took us about 40 minutes to get there from Mayfield Heights.  This time of year, it’s all about blueberries.  This farm also has currants and raspberries, but we didn’t even check out their current ripening status.

There is a huge sign as you approach the farm.  It would be hard to pass them up!  There’s a barn to check in and get information on picking and a board with prices and locations.  Out back, there’s a bucket washing station and a port-a-jon.



It’s just a short walk to the blueberry bushes.  Some of them are quite large.


Sally was fascinated with the buckets.  It doesn’t take much to entertain her.  Nick was enjoying a snack.  I asked him if there were any in his bucket.  He replied, “I’m eating them so my tummy can carry them.”  It just doesn’t get better than the rationale of a 3 year old.

Even though Sally has been walking more, I still like to have the stroller in case she gets tired.  Today, it was useful for carrying our berries, water and supplies.  I use a bungee cord to attach the bucket to the stroller handle.  It makes for great hands free picking.  Luckily, the kids didn’t tip the stroller.  We had a close call.


Our friends from the J joined us again today.  We picked for a little over an hour  The kids weren’t as into it today as some, but we still left with some berries.  We made it home just in time to see the last shuttle take off.  The radio was counting down from 2 minutes when we were a block away from home.  Our timing was great!

We ended up with 3.25 pounds of blueberries for $4.88.  They were $1.50 a pound.  I also picked up another quart of maple syrup.  It was $17.00.  I’ve seen it in the $15-$18 range and I like the support the local farms that have U-Pick whenever I can.


The blueberries went straight into the freezer.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to pick quite a few more before this season ends.  I’d love to have 3 gallons frozen before we move to the next crop.

Voytko Farms is located at 11391 Franks Road, Auburn Township, OH 44023.


Yesterday, we picked our first blueberries and currants of the season.  We traveled to Greenfield Berry Farm in Peninsula.  We had wanted to try this farm out during strawberry season, but there were too many farms and not enough time.  The family was already going to Peninsula today to visit a Farmer’s Market and go to Century Cycles, so we stopped by for a bit.  I ran into Michelle from the farm at the market and was able to verify that they were open for picking from 10-2 PM.  I also bought some local honey from her stand.  The downside of this farm is that they open at 10 AM.  This is a late schedule for my kids.  Most of the time, we try to be done picking by 10 AM so we can travel home, eat lunch and have nap time.

The farm is on Major Road, near the intersection of Oak Hill.  It was very easy to find and would be about 40 minutes from our house in Mayfield Heights if we were driving straight there.  It’s actually pretty close to 303/271 interchange.

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits for U-Pick.  I love the ease of freezing and how versatile they are in pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, etc.  Blueberry season is fairly long and should be around for the entire month of July and maybe into August.

I loved the sign at the road for the farm.  The other one is near where you park.  It’s simple and effective.


After we talked to the farmer, we took our containers and walked a short distance to the field.  We past some nice flowers on our way.


Nick has really been enjoying all of the different farms.  Since this was the holiday weekend, Stephen joined us for some picking.  It was the first time all 4 of us went together.  He’s picking red currants here.  We didn’t pick many, but I hope to make a bit of strawberry currant spread or sauce.


Sally is starting to learn how to pick.  Too bad she doesn’t understand the colors yet.  Here’s a photo of Farmer Daniel.  He’s in charge.


We didn’t stay too long since we had errands to run, but we managed to pick $10 worth of fruit.  It’s maybe a quart and a half of blueberries and a cup of currants.  The prices are a little higher at this farm, but they are naturally grown, so no sprays.  It’s similar to organic but without all of the paperwork.  The farm is also part of the Countryside Initiative to rehabilitate farms in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park area.  I really appreciate this aspect of this particular farm.



Today, we traveled to Patterson Fruit Farm.  This was our 5th and final farm for strawberry picking this season.  The season was too short to try all of the farms on our list, but hopefully we’ll be trying other farms for different crops throughout the summer.  The season is winding down for all of the farms and we are taking next week off while we wait for the start of blueberries, sour cherries and raspberries.  July will be BUSY!  From our house in Mayfield Heights, the Mulberry Road location for Patterson Fruit Farm is about 20 minutes away.  We saved the closest one for last.  Patterson Fruit Farm also operates a market on Caves Road.

We met some friends at the farm.  They live in South Euclid and if they call when they are leaving, and then we pack up and leave, we get to the farms east about the same time.  Once again today, we parked right next to each other.  That was awesome timing.

The U-Pick operation at Patterson’s is one of the bigger one for strawberries.  I think it’s because they are very popular for apples and they are close to the city population compared to other farms.  There is a whole staff of people working the U-Pick fields.  The picking started at 8 AM, and we arrived about 8:30 AM.  You stop at a little gate house building as you enter and someone gives you your baskets and a white information card.  Then, you follow the arrows to the current picking field.  It was not crowded and we parked very close to picking.


Here’s Sally and Nick enjoying the field, and the little field house where your strawberries are weighed when you complete your picking.


The weights of your berries for each container are recorded on your information card and you take it to the gate house near the entrance/exit to pay.  Also, there was a pot-a-jon available near the field.


Here’s a view of the fields.  They have at least 4 picking fields here.  We ended up with 4.25 pounds of berries for $8.25.  They are $1.60-$1.95 per pound depending on how many pounds you pick.  The lowest price is for 25 pounds or more.


We left our house at 8:15 AM and we were home by 10 AM.  That included a detour through the North Chagrin Reservation since Wilson Mills was blocked off with a police car on our way home.

Patterson Fruit Farm has a website and a couple of Facebook pages.   They have U-PIck strawberries, apples and a minimal peach operation, so we’ll probably visit them again later in the year.

Strawberry Picking is located at 8765 Mulberry Road Chesterland, Ohio 44026.  Their Farm Market is at 11414 Caves Road, Chesterland, Ohio 44026.


Today, the kids and I traveled to Secor Nursery in Perry Ohio.  From our house in Mayfield Heights, it was about 40 minutes away.  It took a bit longer due to the construction on route 2.  The upside is that there were lots of diggers and other equipment to entertain Nick and Sally along the way.  It’s about 4 miles further down than West Orchards Farm.

The U-Pick opened at 8 AM and we arrived just after 8 AM.  We parked in front and went into the market to check in and get more information.  We got our basket and directions and drove out to the strawberries.


It wasn’t a far drive and was well marked (to the field and back).


Sally was photogenic for a change.  I think she’s really starting to like all of these farms.


She tried a couple of berries, but surprisingly, she isn’t a big fan of strawberries.  Her brother Nick, on the other hand, loves them and calls this strawberry eating instead of strawberry picking.  The scenery around the fields was breathtakingly beautiful, even with the Perry nuclear power plant in the background.




With picking this good, it was easy to come home with just over 5 pounds of berries.  Grand total $11.67 which included a bulb of garlic that I picked up at the market for $1 when we checked out.


Secor Nursery doesn’t seem to have a website, but I recently found their Facebook page.  You can call them for picking updates and they have an email list.  I would not have tried this farm out due to the lack of easy information available, but my local Rite Aid manage suggested it.  He and his wife do much of their picking there.  With that recommendation, we headed out.

I’m so glad that we tried this farm.  I think it is my favorite to date.  The berries were $1.99 a pound and that’s in line with our other picking this season.  The scenery was great, there was a port-a-jon available, and we had the picking to ourselves for the first half hour.  I can’t wait for cherries, black and red raspberries and blueberries.


Today, the kids and I traveled to Boughton Farm in Akron, Ohio.  From our house in Mayfield Heights, it’s about 45 minutes away.  It’s also close to Earth Fare grocery store and a Great Harvest bakery.  So, we were able to run errands after our picking.

The U-Pick at Broughton opened at 7 AM.  We arrived about 9:15 AM.  They have a barn set up for U-Pick information, containers, and pricing.  Looks like you can also pick pre-picked items there as well.


Everything was well marked and it was easy to find.


Nick loved sitting on this bench.  Inside the barn, a white board shows what’s available and the costs.  We were happily surprised that peas were available for U-Pick.  Strawberries were $1.10 a pounds and all varieties of peas were $.90 a pound.


On our way to the back of the barn to pick peas, we saw this tractor.  Nick was very excited since we were able o take the tractor ride to the strawberry field.  He also liked the peas sign.


Sally enjoyed the stroller for a bit before wanting to run around.


This was not a good year for peas, but we still had fun picking them.  The strawberries at this farm are never sprayed.  The set up is a bit different because you can pick where ever you want.  Other places usually assign you a spot or row.  I’m not sure which I prefer.  They had a port-a-jon available which is always nice with the kids.

We ended up paying $2.77.  That was for about 2.5 pounds of strawberries, .5 pound of snow peas, .5 pound of sugar snap peas, and a small handful of English shelling peas.  I thought it was the best deal yet.  Boughton offers other U-Picks and we’ll be heading back there again soon.




Today, we traveled to Ridgeview Farm in Middlefield, Ohio.    From our house in Mayfield Heights, it’s about 45 minutes away.  We made plans to meet up with some friends and our timing worked out well.  We arrived about 9:15am.  We had 2 adults and 5 kids (ages 4 and under) in our group.

I shared a few tips about U-Pick in last Wednesday’s post about West Orchards Farm.


The U-Pick at Ridgeview opened at 8 AM.  Ridgeview also has a store that opens at 9 AM.  The store sells produce and other “country store” items like jams and cheese.  Since the store was open, that’s where we picked up our containers for picking.

This year, the price for U-Pick was $1.49 per pound.  The strawberry field was in the back of the farm, which required a tractor ride.  The farm had a 6 pound minimum for each adult who rode the tractor.  We had the option to walk, but it was far, muddy and we had kids with us. We waited about 20 minutes for the tractor and then rode to the field.  The kids LOVED the ride.  I brought the BOB jogging stroller for Sally and I was glad to have it.  It was easy to load on the tractor and was great to have to hold Sally when she was tired.  It also gives me a place for my camera, diaper bag, water bottles, and other necessities.

Here’s a view of the farm and a photo of Nick, Sally and me on the tractor.


Here’s a photo of Sally and Nick.


We ended up picking until we heard the next tractor come back.  I didn’t time it.  My only concern was to make sure I met the minimum since I didn’t want to get charged for 6 pounds and take home 5.  We took the tractor ride back to our car and paid for our berries.  I ended up with 7.5 pounds.

We used the port-a-jon, loaded up and headed home.  We ended up leaving around 11:30 AM.

Once we got home, I packaged up the berries.  The containers on the right went into our fridge.  The larger container (about 4 pounds) on the right went to my friend Shayna’s house.


Ridgeview Farm 5488 Kinsman Rd (SR 87) Middlefield, OH 44062 (440) 693-4000


One of our favorite times of the year began today.  It’s time for U-Pick.

If you’ve never been picking before, here are a few things to consider.

  • Bring water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. when you go to pick.
  • Some places want you to have your own containers.  Other places provide them.
  • Call ahead and make sure u-pick is open.  Many places only pick for a few hours a day depending on condition.
  • Most places are “reasonably” stroller friendly, but keep in mind you are in the fields – it’s a perfect time for the stroller with the big wheels.
  • Ask about restrooms or port-a-jon availability when you call to verify hours so you aren’t caught off guard, especially if you take little ones.
  • It’s nice to have correct change, so it’s a good idea to stock up on small bills for u-pick farms.
  • Some places will have parking close to the fields, but at others you will have a walk to get to picking.
  • is a great resource.

Also, pick your own isn’t usually cheaper than the local market or store.  Pick your own is about enjoying the experience, seeing how crops are grown and and enjoying fresh and local.

First up for the U-Pick season here is strawberries.  This year, strawberries were a bit later than normal due to all of the rain that we have had.  Today, we traveled to West Orchards Farm in Perry, Ohio. From our house in Mayfield Heights, it’s about 30 minutes away. It took us a few minutes longer today due to the construction on route 2.

The U-Pick here opened at 8am.  We arrived a few minutes after 8 and were the only ones doing U-pick!  Here’s the view of the entrance of the market along with a sign directing you to the picking area.


We were greeted by Allee who has worked at the farm for 5 years.  She’s a student at Mt. Union and works here during the summer.  She set us up with our containers and headed out to the field with us.  When it’s not busy, she picks.  West Orchards provides containers.  The kids each had a small basket and I had a larger container for berries.  We ended up picking 9 pounds of berries.  Here the strawberries were $2 per pound regardless of the number of pounds picked.


Nick enjoyed picking eating the strawberries.  He had a red face and fingers to show for it.


Sally spent most of the time in the stroller, so I didn’t get any good photos of her.  I’ll have to try to capture her next time.

We were able to park really close to the fields and there was a port-a-jon available as well.  We’ll definitely be returning to West Orchard.  If we don’t make it for more strawberries, we’ll definitely go out for sour cherries in a few weeks.

Nick, Sally and I hope to be picking a couple of times a week throughout the summer as we enjoy our seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available for U-Pick in the area.  I hope you enjoy our tour of the local U-Pick farms.

West Orchards Farm Market 3034 N. Ridge Rd.  (SR. 20)Perry, OH 44081 (440) 259-3192