Sydney and I had such a great time at Champaign Berry Farm picking red and black raspberries! This was omething very different for us to do. Even though it is a little bit of work, there is something very therapeutic about the process. Being outdoors and just hearing nothing but stillness was so relaxing. I highly recommend giving berry picking a try if you have never done it before.
The Champaign Berry Farm is located at 5676 E State Route 29, Urbana, OH and was established in 1994 by Mike and Cathy Pullins. What started out as an FFA project for their son many years ago, has now turned into a thriving business. They originally started with 5 acres and now have 25 acres of premium black, red and yellow raspberries along with gooseberries and currants.
The majority of their business is pick-your-own berries. It was a lot of fun (though a bit messy) and well worth the picking to get these plump and juicy berries. Sydney and I picked both black and red raspberries. We had the absolute perfect morning for picking! It was nice and cool out (we almost could have used a jacket), a much needed change from the high 90 degree weather we had been having earlier in the week. 🙂 Look at these gorgeous berries!
The summer season for berries runs from mid June through mid July. In the fall, from late August until the first frost, there will be another season for berries. Sydney and I will definitely be going back to get some more berries in the fall. Can’t wait!
Berries are not all that Champaign Berry Farm is getting into. After doing a testing of peach trees Mike and Cathy planted 850 peach trees in 2017. Peach season begins in late July. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit longer for fresh peaches because it takes 3 years for the peach trees to produce at capacity. They are expecting a small crop of peaches in 2019.
Both Mike and Cathy are retired from full-time jobs. Mike retired from the Ohio Farm Bureau and Cathy retired from a career in special education. They now have a new full-time job at Champaign Berry Farm. 🙂
Their busy time is from April through October. They spend their time planting, performing weed control, fertilizing and working on the irrigation system. There is a drip line in every single row of berries! Plenty of water available when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate!
One would think that Mike and Cathy would get to relax from November through March, but that is not the case. During the off season they are busy maintaining the berry crops. The plant continues to live but the cane dies after each season. They have to remove the dead cane by twisting and breaking it off by hand. What a tiresome job! The farm and equipment must also be maintained during this time. There’s always something to do.
Sydney and I made black raspberry crisp and red raspberry pie with the berries we picked at Champaign Berry Farm. These berries were so big and made the most amazing desserts! We will most definitely be going back and picking some more in the fall! Check out both of these recipes: Homemade Black Raspberry Crisp and Red Raspberry Pie.
Make sure to get to Champaign Berry Farm in late August through the first frost to get your berries. We would love to see pictures of the delicious creations you make with your berries! Thanks Mike and Cathy for the great tour and for the most amazing berries for our crisp and pie. We had a great time picking the berries and eating the fruits of our labor.
Have a “berry” good day! 🙂