It’s mid-summer, and that means prime time for fresh, seasonal produce in Metro Detroit. While you’re surely frequenting your farmers market on the weekends for your favorite staples, you have even more options, including u-pick produce.
Instead of heading to a local chain grocer for a hearty supply of fruits and veggies, pick your own! Visit one of the following farms or orchards in southeast Michigan that offer u-pick produce throughout the summer months:
Blake Farms, 17985 Armada Center Rd., Armada, may be done with u-pick strawberries for the year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of other produce left. Pea pods, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, raspberries, tart cherries and Lodi and Early Mac apples are all in prime u-pick season.
Both apple varieties are a prelude to the fall apple picking season, and are a tart variety, great on their own or turned into applesauce. Blake’s is open seven days a week, and u-pick hours run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spicer Orchards, 10411 Clyde Rd., Fenton, also wrapped up its u-pick strawberry season recently, giving way to u-pick sweet cherries, raspberries and blueberries. Sweet cherries are priced at $3.95 per pound, while raspberries cost $5.50 per quart and blueberries cost $1.99 per pound.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and you can call the farm directly at 810-632-7692 for the latest u-pick information before you head out.
If you are over 21, be sure to check out Spicer’s Carriage House Cellars while you’re there. The winery’s tasting room is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day and offers a variety of specialty wines.
Westview Orchards, 65075 Van Dyke, Washington, is currently offering u-pick sweet and sour cherries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. While the peach crop was damaged by this year’s harsh winter, according to the orchards’ Facebook page, you can expect u-pick peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet corn in the coming weeks.
While you’re at the orchard picking your fruit, be sure to stop by the ice cream shop, which is open from noon to 6 p.m., or the winery, which is open on weekends only. Surely if you’re picking fruit, a doughnut sundae (with cider mill doughnut ice cream atop a freshly made doughnut with your choice of topping) will cancel out calorie-wise, right?
Later in the summer, be sure to head to Erwin Orchards, 61475 Silver Lake Rd., South Lyon, where you’ll be able to pick red and yellow raspberries beginning in late July or early August. Middleton Berry Farm, 4790 Oakwood Rd., Ortonville, is closed for now after selling out of its strawberry crop, but will re-open later this summer for u-pick vegetables in late July and u-pick raspberries in August. Keep your eyes peeled to the website provided for further information.
U-pick produce not only allows for a day in the great outdoors, but you’ll go home with delicious, fresh and healthy produce, too. What better way to spend a summer afternoon in southeast Michigan?