Awe, berry season! The blueberries are plump and ready to eat, blackberries will surely glisten underneath the summer sun in the weeks to come, and the raspberries are just about ready to fall off the vine. Freshly picked berries offer many health benefits for children and adults alike, but beyond the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, there are many other advantages to berry picking. One such advantage of visiting your local u-pick berry farm is that it provides you and your children the opportunity to enjoy the summer sunshine while bonding over the picking and, dare I say, devouring of freshly picked fruit.

Shaina Olmanson recently shared the many benefits of taking your children to a local, u-pick berry farm in her highly regarded food blog, Food for My Family (foodformyfamily.com).

·   Exposing kids to the full circle of the food process helps them connect with their food. When they have met the farmers and seen the plants, they have a new respect for where those berries come from and gives them a sense of ownership over their food and food choices.

·   That connection gets stronger and can garner a sense of accomplishment when they get to share their berries or the product of their picking with friends and neighbors later.

·   Get your kids excited about new dishes by incorporating your freshly picked berries into different dishes. When you introduce new foods with foods your children like, they can be more willing to give them a go. Try adding them to salads, flipping them in flapjacks, baking them up in new breads, or freezing them into green tea ice pops.

·   Finally, picking berries is a great summer activity that gets you out of the house and on the move. Because berry picking happens in the early-morning hours, the sun usually isn’t full strength yet, and it can be a great way for kids to work up an appetite for lunch.

Since the Willamette Valley is one of the most important production areas in the entire world for berry crops, your options for picking are only limited to how far you are willing to drive. Many farms offer additional picking opportunities, including peaches and plums, and some even provide opportunities to encounter and interact with domesticated animals.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend that you call ahead to confirm the hours of operation along with the particular social distancing practices in place at the u-pick farm you are planning to visit. By calling the farm directly, you will also be able to get the most up-to-date information about which berries are available for you and your kiddos to pick.

So, get your buckets, baskets, baseball caps, and sunscreen ready, because it’s berry picking time!

Here are just some of the many u-pick farms that await you in the Willamette Valley:

Portland Metro Area:

Columbia Farms U-Pick

21024 NW Gillihan Road

Portland, Oregon

503-621-3909


Sauvie Island Blueberry Farm

15140 NW Burlington Court

Portland, Oregon

503-621-3332


Douglas Farm

15330 NW Sauvie Island Road

Portland, Oregon

503-621-3177


Roshak Berry Shak

11300 SW River Road

Hillsboro, Oregon

503-590-3201


Smith Berry Barn

24500 SW Scholls Ferry Road

Hillsboro, Oregon

503-628-2172


Beach Family Farm

27626 SW 147th Avenue

Sherwood, Oregon

503-625-6314


Our Table Cooperative

13390 SW Morgan Road

Sherwood, Oregon

503-308-8276


Mid Valley:

Boones Ferry Berry Farms 

19602 Boones Ferry Road NE

Hubbard, Oregon

503-678-5871


Bernard’s Farm

18755 SW Highway 18

McMinnville, Oregon

503-472-4933


Cora’s Crop U-pick Blueberry Farm

21897 Case Road NE 

Aurora, Oregon

503-678-6021


Morning Shade Farm

8345 South Barnards Road

Canby, Oregon

503-651-2622


Olson Farms

6925 Joseph Street SE

Salem, Oregon

503-363-5942


Rogue Farms

3590 Wigrich Road

Independence, Oregon

503-838-9813


Fordyce Farm

7023 Sunnyview Road NE

Salem, Oregon

503-362-5105


Koch Family Farm

4745 Raybell Road NE

St. Paul, Oregon

503-538-6834


Elliott Prairie Farm

32747 S Orchard Lane

Woodburn, Oregon

503-634-2615


Lower Valley:

Blueberry Meadows

3860 NE Highway 20

Corvallis, Oregon 97330

541-753-2614


Davis Family Farm

4380 NE Highway 20

Corvallis, Oregon

541-752-0697


Radke’s Farm

490 SE 3 Mile Avenue

Corvallis, Oregon

541-753-5680


Thistledown Farm

91455 River Road

Junction City, OR 97448

541-689-2019


Johnson Farms

89733 Armitage Road

Eugene, Oregon

541-343-9594


Adkins Farm

85995 Gossler Road

Eugene, Oregon

541-953-4872


Little Wings Farm

2245 River Loop 1

Eugene, Oregon

541-335-9011

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