Pick-Your-Own fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers at these local farms
By Catherine Royka
Warmer weather means the arrival of some of our favorite seasonal fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers is on the way. Many places across Tennessee offer pick-your-own operations on their farms, where customers go to pick, cut or choose their own product out of the field. The pick-your-own concept emerged in the United States when prices for fruit and vegetable crops hit low levels in the 1930s and 1940s. Some of these crops failed to cover the cost of harvest, labor and containers, which in turn, prompted some producers to dive right into the fields to pick their own products for purchase. Check out this list of pick-your-own farms, also known as U-pick farms, around the state.
Batey Farms, Murfreesboro
This 8th generation family owned and operated hog, crop and hay farm also offers strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and flower picking. If you’re a sunflower and zinnia lover, this is the place you need to be. In the fall, be on the lookout for their pumpkin patch and corn maze.
Madison Creek Farms, Goodlettsville
One of the farm’s most beloved attractions is the field of fresh flowers, offering zinnias and sunflowers. Sold by the bucket or bouquet, flower lovers will adore this. They supply you with a floral bucket and the flower cutters and then you’re on your own to stroll the field to find your pick. To get your share of fresh fruits and veggies and flowers, they offer a spring/summer CSA program, showcasing dozens of produces, harvest fresh flowers and herbs, and event workshops, recipes and discounts at farm events if you sign-up.
Stoney Creek Farms, Franklin
A sustainable farm that emphasizes eco-friendly practices when growing fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. The farm is open for tours, seminars, U-pick items and special seminars and events and garden plot rentals. There are dozens of varieties of fresh produce like tomatoes, broccoli, okra, cucumbers and cabbage to name a few. For those with a green thumb, you can lease a twenty by thirty-foot garden plot. Farm owner Leigh Funderburk says, “Pick-your-own or U-pick farms afford the community the opportunity to hand-select fruits and vegetables fresh off the plant/vine and then pay by the pound/basket or bucket. The customer benefits by having the freshest produce available, usually at a lower price, while being able to enjoy the ‘picking experience’ with the entire family. With a large portion of our population being at least three generations away from being raised on a farm, pick-your-own gives individuals and families a piece of Americana missing in their lives.”
Bee Sweet Berry Farm, Lewisburg
This U-pick farm is centered around berries, berries and more berries. Pick blackberries, blueberries and raspberries across their six-acre farm. Most berries are ready to pick the end of May through August. They also have a store with an assortment of items handcrafted by local artisans.
Green Door Gourmet, Nashville
Located a couple miles just outside the city, Green Door Gourmet offers a 350-acre organic farm, store, a selection of CSAs, event venue and a pick-your-own option in the summer and fall. They also have a flower CSA with eight-week sessions of organic flowers. Visit them this May to kick off strawberry picking season.
Bottom View Farm, Portland
Primarily known for their selection of pick-your-own berries from end of April through August, they also have a lake for fishing, a restaurant on-site and host events. Strawberries are available for picking April-June and blueberries and blackberries during the month of July. To dive into fall, stay tuned for apple picking in late August.
Boyd Mill Farm, Franklin
Boyd Mill Farm is home to U-pick blackberries starting in July. They are also known for making their own delicious homemade jam. The berry picking season kicks off July 1, with the all-day Blackberry Jam on the fourth Saturday in June.