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Find the best Florida fruit this spring at local farms

You can pick your own peaches, blueberries and blackberries right here in Osceola County this spring. You’ll find the freshest, tastiest fruits at local farms, and you even get to meet the growers.

By opening up their farms to the public, farmers are offering you a chance to connect with your community and experience agritourism. Please be respectful of this opportunity, and consider these tips for making your farm visits as fun as possible:

  • Expect something different. Fruits from local farms may look or taste different than what you’ve had before, and you’re going to love it! At “you-pick” farms, you are picking ripe fruit, and eating, freezing or processing it within a few days. Therefore, farmers don’t have to grow fruits with tougher skin, harder flesh, and typical colors, as you may find in groceries. You will find a wide selection of delicious fruit varieties at farmers markets and local farms that come in an assortment of unusual shapes, colors, or sizes that are unlike those you may find sitting on grocery shelves.
  • Keep your pets at home. Domestic animals in food production areas violate farm food safety Good Agricultural Practices and are prohibited by food safety certification programs that many farmers participate in. Bringing your pet to a farm could put the farm’s certification at risk. Failing certification could put a farmer out of business.
  • Dress appropriately. Always wear closed-toe shoes and protect yourself from the sun with proper clothing, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Bring cash. Not all farmers are set up to accept credit cards and sometimes technology fails. ATMs may not be accessible if you’re in a rural location.
  • Ask how much a particular bucket/bag will cost before you fill it, so you don’t pick more than you can pay for!
  • Wash all fruit before eating. It’s tempting to taste as you pick, but remember that outdoor crop production can mean exposure to insects and wildlife.
  • Pick when you have the chance! Harvest seasons are variable and sometimes short, depending on weather, and fruit varieties grown. Operating hours may vary, and on a busy day, fruit may be picked out for the day just a few hours after opening.
  • For their safety, supervise children closely. “You-pick” operations are working farms, and may have features (i.e. equipment or barbed wire fences) that may be hazards to unsupervised children. Additionally, careless acts by a child like displacing irrigation components or breaking tree limbs can cost a farmer hundreds or thousands of dollars.

We all depend on agriculture for our survival, but what do we really know about the origin of our food? I hope you’ll take the time this spring to get outside, get to know some of our local farmers, and experience local agriculture. Farming requires time, sweat, and money; a farmer often has to be their own grower, marketer, engineer, and accountant. Farming involves daily problem-solving and improvising, and regardless of how knowledgeable and dedicated a farmer is, their success is dependent on the weather and pests. In spite of the challenges, one fact remains: farmers love farming. And you’ll love our local farmers!

Picking seasons- Blueberries: Late February-May || Peaches: April-Mid May || Blackberries: May-June

OSCEOLA COUNTY “YOU-PICK” FARMSCheck fruit availability and operating hours before visiting.

B & G Blueberries – Blueberries, honey | 1031 Oakshore Dr., St. Cloud, FL | 407-928-1261

Bill’s Berries- Blackberries | 4375 Sullivan Dr., St. Cloud, FL | 407-414-3314

Chapman’s U-Pick Berry Farm-Blueberries, containerized fruit plants | 75 Nolte Rd., St. Cloud, FL | 321-624-9482

Double C Bar Blueberries- Blueberries, other farm products | 4200 N. Canoe Creek Rd., Kenansville, Florida | 407-892-2414

Deer Park Peaches-Peaches | 6900 Kempfer Rd., St. Cloud, FL | 321-288-3030

Premium Peach- Peaches | 3920 Packard Ave., St. Cloud, FL | 407-448-9958

 

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