We're officially on the threshold of berry-picking season and living in The Natural State is really paying off right about now.
We've featured a few of them below, so click here to see the full list and safety tips for the whole bunch.
The Cabot Patch
Cabot’s you-pick strawberry patches are owned by a father and son duo. Strawberry season typically ends in early June and peach season follows shortly after. Though the farms don’t allow customers to pick their own peaches, you can snag some of the juicy fruit, watermelons and more at their roadside stands. The produce stands are open through the first week of September. During strawberry season, you can also find the fresh-picked berries at other roadside stands around central Arkansas (visit website for details).
The Cabot Patch, 500 Mt. Carmel Road, Cabot. Picking hours are 7 a.m.-noon daily. You-pick strawberries $2.50 per pound; other produce varies. For info:501-605-1313; Facebook.
Faulkner Lake Orchard in North Little Rock
Just about 20 minutes from the city is Faulkner Lake Orchard in North Little Rock. The family farm/event venue opens its gates to the public each year from mid-April through August. During this time, guests are invited to pick their fill from the pick-your-own peach orchard (the only one in Pulaski County). However, the orchard did not grow strawberries this season. Call ahead to see what's available for picking. Along with the orchard, there is a children's play area, general store and event center.
Wye Mountain Flowers & Berries in Roland
On the scenic drive to Wye Mountain, you'll find this family farm that provides pick-your-own blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Blueberries should begin ripening about Memorial Day and Arkansas-bred varieties of thornless blackberries just a couple weeks later. You can also pick up freshly cut Zinnias and sunflowers! Plus, field trip groups are welcome by reservation Monday-Thurday; children learn about the flowers, decorate baskets for picking berries, learn how the berries are raised and how to choose the ripe ones, and then pick some to take home.
20309 Hwy. 113, Roland. Open for picking late May through mid-July. Picking hours are 7 a.m.-noon Monday-Saturday. Field trip groups are welcome by reservation Tuesday-Thursday ($6 per child; minimum of 10 children). Blueberries and blackberries $20 per gallon bucket, raspberries $8 per quart. For info: 501-330-1906, WyeMountain.net.
The farms supply buckets or containers to hold your pickings, and many sell or provide water for hot days. But here are a few things to keep in mind before you head to the berry patch.
- Wear sunscreen and/or hats — it gets hot in the field!
- Use an insect repellent — ticks and other bugs are common on the farm — and be aware of stinging insects.
- Wear closed toe shoes.
- Drink plenty of water and bring extra bottles for the whole family.
- Take frequent rests in the shade if you feel hot.