U Pick Farm Experience – GoBRT’s Kids Bucket List!
With Memorial Day actually here, the summer has begun despite the fact that it is so cold. Go Blue Ridge Travel is announcing the first of many great road trips in a new series called ‘What’s Happening in the Shenandoah Valley?
Today’s Topic – “The U-Pick Farm Experience” – a must do more than once Kids Bucket List Experience!
Finally, it is Strawberry Pickin time. Late this year due to the cold Spring, the berries are ripe and ready for the pickin. This should last for the next four weeks depending on the weather. In the Winchester-Frederick County area there are two great U Pick farms on Route 7.
MacKintosh Fruit Farm is a family owned farm located on the Clark County side of the Blue Ridge Mountain Ridge. Tree ripened fruit is their speciality beginning with strawberries, peaches, and Honey Crisp apples. Offering a ‘A Hands on Farm Experience’, their ‘best kept’ secret is that they also have a chef who cooks on the farm so you can enjoy lunch or come to one of their featured monthly farm dinners. There first one is June 1st. Check out the menu – the sophistication will surprise you!
“We have vegetable and fruit crops coming in during the Valley’s growth season. Peaches start in July and varieties are available into September. Our goal is to find fruit varieties that have amazing flavor and texture and grow them on dwarf trees that can be easily picked from the ground. One of the best food experiences you can give your child is to come out to the farm and let the child pick his own fruit. The respect he/she will gain for the agriculture industry will last a life time.” says Lori MacKintosh.
Just across the mountain ridge in Loudoun County is Great Country Farms. Again, family owned, the Zurchmeides started the farm thirty five years ago. On top of offering a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program to local residents, Great Country Farms also has a U Pick program.
Located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains outside the quaint village of Bluemont, Great Country Farms has grown into an Agri-Tourism Attraction. Their motto is U Pick, U Play, U Grow. “The goal of Great Country Farms is to offer a way for everyone to experience farm life and enjoy the benefits of its bounty.” said Kate Zurchmeide.
Almost every weekend, there is a signature event happening on the farm such as our Strawberry Jubilee. On July 28th, we will have our second annual Bluemont BBQ and Blackberry Bash which is a Kansas City Certified Competition. “Last year, our winner, 3 Eyz BBQ, won the nationals ‘Team to the Year’ in Kansas City”, said Kate. “We were both thrilled and honored to have this event win this year’s Visit Loudoun’s Event of the Year.”
Helpful Hint — Remember always checking with the farm is a good thing since weather will determine the quantities and quality of the fruit or produce you want to pick. Many farms allow for four-legged pets but it is good to ask first.