by Kelsey Bradbury

blackberry-pickingThis past Saturday, in the midst of the warm and sunny weather, I grew nostalgic for one of my favorite childhood activities: berry picking.

Once a year, my parents would take my cousin and me to Greg’s U-Pick during the strawberry season. We’d sport old, oversized tee shirts that stretched to our knees, dab suntan lotion on our noses, and tote dented buckets for our yield. We’d spend a few hours picking berries with the mid afternoon sun high overhead. Every so often, I’d “sample” a berry or two from my bucket. Ripe and refreshing, the strawberries tasted like summer itself. When we’d return home after our outing, it was always in exhausted content—arms slightly sore, hands still sticky, relishing the sweet taste of sun-kissed strawberries. The bucket of berries lasted a few delicious days. The memory of these outings has lasted more than a decade.

There are a number of farms across the Buffalo-Niagara region with pick your own fruit programs:

At Awald Farms, in North Collins, NY, you can pick your own blueberries, raspberries, and pumpkins. The picking season starts in early July.

At Brown’s Berry Patch, in Waterport, NY, you can pick your own strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, gooseberries, elderberries, apples, and pumpkins. The picking season starts in mid June.

At Becker Farms, in Gasport, NY, you can pick fresh strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, vegetables, and pumpkins. The picking season starts in early June.

At Blackman Homestead Farm, in Lockport, NY, you can pick your own apples, and pears. The picking season starts in mid September.

At Burch Farms, in Hilton, NY, you can harvest strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, currants, and gooseberries. The picking season starts in mid June.

At Greg’s U-Pick, in Clarence, NY, you can pick strawberries, blueberries, vegetables, and pumpkins. The picking season starts in mid June.

At Murphy Orchards, in Burt, NY, you can pick fresh strawberries, mulberries, cherries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, plums, pears, prunes, vegetables, and pumpkins. The picking season starts in mid June.

At Russell’s U-Pick Blueberries, in Appleton, NY, you can pick your own blueberries. The picking season starts in July.

Also in Appleton, NY, is Singer Farms, where you can pick your own cherries. The picking season starts in July.

Fruit-picking in the Buffalo-Niagara region is a great way to enjoy the warm weather, the beautiful landscapes of the countryside, and the companionship of your family. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

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