Do you remember visits to your local berry farm as a child? In the Hudson Valley, those trips are a little slice of summertime magic, with the warm glow of the sun shining bright on juicy blueberries, plump strawberries, and glistening cherries.
As the day progressed – and your hands sported more and more berry-hued stains – you looked down with pride at your haul, thinking about all the deliciousness it would lead to back at home. Whether baked into cobblers and pies, sprinkled atop pancakes, or simply savored with a dollop of cream, those local berries were guaranteed to be perfection on a platter.
Lucky for you, berry farms are alive and thriving in the Hudson Valley this spring and summer. Here’s where to go for the juiciest fruits in the region:
Highland’s scenic DuBois Farms offers a full rainbow spectrum of produce during the summer’s U-pick season. Strawberries kick things off in June, but mid-summer brings a whole slew of choices: eggplant, squash, tomatoes, plums, nectarines, and peaches. Plus, the onsite tavern serves local beer, cider, and wine.
Fishkill Farms has become a destination due to the beloved Treasury Cider, as well as its beautiful vistas. June kicks off with strawberries and snap peas. July brings juicy, sweet blueberries, while August is the official start to tart blackberries. Other U-pick offerings include cherries, raspberries, peaches, pears, and, of course, apples in late August.
Pick sweet cherries in July at Hudson’s Fix Bros. Fruit Farm, a fifth-generation family operation. During the height of the summer season, black sour cherries and peaches are the sweetest pickings. The email newsletters are especially helpful; “fruit blasts” keep everyone up-to-date on what’s ripe and ready to pick.
Greig Farm’s delightful atmosphere means you’ll stay long after your baskets are full of fresh produce. Those spending a day at the farm can enjoy four miles of farm trails, a farm market and kitchen, 25 local artisans inside the SoHu Craft Market, and much more. Greig Farm’s playful goats are especially fun to watch. Pick strawberries in June, blueberries from July to mid-August, and blackberries in August and September.
The USDA-certified organic farm cultivates lush blueberry bushes. Make a reservation online and pick juicy berries through the end of July. Those with green thumbs may want to pick up a bush of their own and try their hand at growing blueberries.
With a season pass, enter Kelder’s Farm during each fruit’s prime ripeness. The Kerhonkson destination produces blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Kelder’s also features a variety of U-pick vegetables and flowers, a market stocked with local products, and a cute mini-golf course.
Starting in June, you can pick strawberries and a variety of vegetables at Lawrence Farms Orchards. July brings cherries and greens, followed by mouthwatering peaches and plums from July to August. Raspberries are available starting in August. The farm offers a concession stand with delicious treats, and the most adorable mini-houses for children to explore. Season passes are available for purchase.
Throughout July, visitors to Mead Orchards can pick sweet cherries and blueberries. Later in the season, shop farm-fresh tomatoes, peaches, raspberries, and corn in the market. This Tivoli spot boasts over 100 acres of crops that overlook gorgeous Catskill Mountain views.
During summer months, this 100-acre farm grows strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, raspberries, and a host of tasty vegetables. The farmstand sells local sweet corn, potatoes, onions, lettuce, eggs, and other components of a delicious Hudson Valley feast. Picking at Ochs Orchard can be comparable to embarking on a hike, so good shoes are necessary.
Head to Prospect Hill for sweet and sour cherries beginning at the end of June (check the site at the start of the month for cherry picking). Apricots, plums, peaches, and nectarines are available from July through August. The Milton farm is sustainable and uses integrated pest management and solar panels, with organic orchards as well. Find breathtaking views and fresh products like homemade granola and jams.
Head to Red Hook to pick strawberries in June, new for the 2022 season. Cherries, blueberries, apricots, and plums are available in July. Later in August, pick some of the juiciest peaches around. Plus, Rose Hill Ferments serves small-batch ciders and delicious naturally fermented wines.
The farm is a must for U-pick strawberries in June and blueberries in July and early August. Stop by the bakery for fresh fruit pies, muffins, and biscotti, with plenty of gluten-free options available as well. Fresh flowers from the farm greenhouse are available for purchase.
Certified organic strawberries and blueberries will satisfy any visitor to Thompson-Finch Farm. The Ancram farm remains a family-owned and family-run business through and through. In addition, the farm aims to reduce its energy consumption as a long-term goal.
In Highland, a truly unique lineup of berries can be picked. Wilklow Orchards cultivates blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and currants for pick-your-own day trips. The farm has activities for everyone, with live music on summer weekends and children’s activities.