Michigan summers are a beautiful, scratch that, gorgeous thing. Now’s the time of year when fresh produce is plentiful, and if you’re ambitious enough, you can skip the farmers market (just this once!) and pick your own fruits and veggies.
If you missed out on u-pick strawberry season, don’t fret. While you may not have enjoyed those juicy berries (perfect for making daiquiris and muffins, just two of the ways I used them in my own kitchen), there are other u-pick fruits to be had this summer!
While most places ceased their u-pick strawberries at the end of June or beginning of July, now is prime u-pick time for two other bountiful fruits in Southeast Michigan: blueberries and summer raspberries! Here’s where you can find them in the area:
Erwin Orchards, 61475 Silver Lake Rd., South Lyon, has u-pick red raspberries that will be ripe for the picking closer to the end of the month. Keep an eye on the website for the official kickoff date! Yellow raspberries will be available mid-August.
Blake Farms, 17985 Armada Center Rd., Armada, has u-pick summer raspberries beginning in July, with an additional crop starting in August.
Middleton Berry Farm, 4888 Oakwood Rd., Ortonville, offers a late summer variety of raspberries ripe for the picking beginning in August.
Spicer Orchards, 10411 Clyde Rd., Fenton, has a crop of u-pick raspberries that should be plentiful throughout the next few weeks. Spicer also has u-pick blueberries, which are now prime time for picking! The early picking season began at the end of last week, so if you go any time this week, you’ll get some great produce.
Miller’s Big Red Orchards, 4900 32 Mile Rd., Washington Twp., has u-pick raspberries ripe for the picking every day between the orchards’ business hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Westview Orchards, 65075 Van Dyke, Washington Twp., has something besides raspberries or blueberries to offer: cherries! As of now, tart cherries are ripe and ready to pick. Sweet cherries are limited and not available for u-pick, but can be purchased in the farm market.
Not surprisingly, u-pick fruit season depends on the year’s weather, and after this brutal winter, several u-pick farms have very limited crops, or none at all. If you want the best produce possible, get to one of the farms listed above sooner rather than later!
After the picking is over and you’ve got bushels upon bushels of berries on your hands, what is one to do? Head to the kitchen, that’s what! If you’re in need of a few ideas and/or recipes for some inspiration, try one of the following:
Now that you’ve got fresh, u-picked produce and nearly a dozen recipes on hand, you’re good to go! I highly recommend the Blueberry Zucchini Bread recipe listed above. Heat up a slice and put a slight dab of butter on it, and you’ll be in heaven.