This year’s strawberries felt the wrath of the polar vortex, and the season was cut woefully short. But you can still get your berry fix, as perfectly ripe blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries have arrived eat some of the area’s best u-pick farms. Word of advice: Call ahead before going. Most of these farms have specific picking days in order to meet demand.
1. Blooms & Berries Farm MarketThis Loveland market’s strawberries were rocked by the winter weather, but it opened its doors for blueberry picking on July 1. The always fun, always bumpy hayride to the patch is included. And if there are slim pickings, you can shop around their two off-site farm stands in Loveland and Maineville. 9669 S. St. Rt. 48, Loveland, (513) 697-9173, bloomsandberriesfarmmarket.com
2. Monnin’s Fruit FarmRaspberries are plentiful at Monnin’s, but don’t delay: Farmers warn u-pickers that the season for this tart and juicy berry is brief. If raspberries aren’t your thing, check out their pre-picked Bing cherries and Tennessee tomatoes. 8201 Frederick Pike, Dayton, (937) 890-4536
3. Stokes Berry FarmFolks have been picking berries at Stokes for four generations now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. With a selection of black and red raspberries, the farm has placed zero limitations on how much you can pick, so you may want to hurry. And you can sidle up to the property’s pond for a post-picking picnic. 2822 Center Road, Wilmington, (937) 382-4004, stokesberryfarm.com
4. TCC Berry Farm9,000 feet of bright red raspberries welcome you to TCC. Picking kicked off last Saturday and the farm offers summer raspberries of the Autumn Britten variety. If you can’t get out to the farm immediately, don’t fret. The farm offers fall raspberries that should be ready in August. 1466 US Highway 50, Milford, (513) 248-0452 ext. 103, https://www.facebook.com/TCCBerryFarm
5. Berryhill FarmBlueberries, blackberries, and raspberries round out Berryhill’s large inventory. They celebrated independence this year by having their first u-pick of 2014 and if you want to avoid overcrowded Saturdays on the farm, Berryhill will be announcing weekday u-picks throughout the month. 330 E. Krepps Road, Xenia, (937) 374-8747, berryhillfarm.biz
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