By Kristi Alexandra
Is there anything sweeter than the fruits of your own labour? U-pick berry farms in the Lower Mainland would attest there isn’t.
While abundant rain at the end of a long winter had many farms opening their picking seasons a little late this year, the results are still oh-so-sweet. With a shortened growing season, farmers are seeing strawberries and blueberries as a bounty of fresh-picked treats. We visited a few farms to find out where you can gather a basket of your own before the season’s over.
Please note that availability of berries is subject to weather and crops may end early, or be extended. It’s best to contact the individual farms to determine availability of your favourite berries.
Krause Berry Farms
6179-248th Street, Langley
U-pick, a winery, fresh-made waffles, and a kids’ farm – is there anything this farm doesn’t have? Set on 200 acres of well-groomed farmland, Krause Berry Farms uses all of its berries in farm-to-table (and from field-to-glass) style. There’s always something to pick from late May to mid-October in the fields, from ever-bearing strawberries getting their second-wind starting in late July to pumpkins and autumn harvests. Open every day 8:30am to 5pm.
13051 Blundell Road, Richmond
With families in mind, CanWest hosts U-pick blueberries for five weeks between mid-July and late August. At just $1.50 per pound, you can pick a year’s worth of berries to store. Open from 10 am to 6 pm.
4200 No 6 Road, Richmond
Fruit stands are no longer just a roadside attraction whilst vacationing in BC’s Okanagan Valley – this Richmond-based fruit stand has a legacy of its own. For 30 years, Birak Berry Farms has been growing six different varieties of strawberries: Albion, Totem, Hood, Tillamook, Honey Owe and Pugent. Open seven days a week from dawn to dusk.
5180 – 152 Street, Surrey
This little Surrey-based farm is famous among locals for its sweet strawberries. “The season is slowing down but the U-pickers seem to be very happy,” they told WestCoast Food. Here, strawberries can last until mid-September, with blueberries usually staying strong into September. U-pick opens mid-June to mid-October from 9 am to 6 pm.
790 McKenzie Road, Abbotsford
Open from 9 am to 6 pm every day, this 80-acre farm currently boasts late harvest strawberries and seasonal blueberries. A $2 admission fee is refundable when you pick more than 5 lbs of berries.
Willems Berry Farm
33736 Vye Road, Abbotsford
Running since 1983, Willems Berry Farm is a family-run farm with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries abound, when in season. Picking typically opens at 9 am on the weekends, but hours can vary, so it’s best to call ahead at 604-864-1149.
Didar Berry Farm
5580 104th Street, Ladner
Blueberry season for this family-farm is short but sweet. It opened in mid-July for u-picking and its last day of the season is August 19. Owner Aujlay Didar dubs his fruits “nature’s candy” and is happy to drive visiting pickers through his 80+ rows of berries in a golf cart to find the sweetest treasures.
Formosa Nursery Organic Farm
12617 – 203rd Street, Maple Ridge
If you want to save your money, do the dirty work yourself. Formosa Nursery offers blueberries at $5 per pound, ready-picked, or just $3 per pound when you u-pick. There are just 2 weeks left in the u-pick season, so there’s a limited amount of time to collect your bounty and get some exercise in. Open from 8 am to 8 pm daily.