Summertime blueberry (and strawberry) picking in Southeastern NH, plus Massachusetts

"Blue gold"
[A blueberry bush]

Southeastern New Hampshire offers the summertime opportunity to pick your own blueberries, with the best month probably being August of each year. I've been told that the last week of July and the first 2 weeks of August may be the best weeks (7/2010: this year's weather conditions seem to have moved the season earlier by 1-2 weeks; 8/2012: an early hot spell seems to have moved the season earlier this year as well), but even in late August I got some of the biggest and sweetest blueberries I've ever picked. You can pick blueberries far superior to those typically found at the supermarket, and more cheaply, too (of course, you're providing the labor).

Due to less sunny weather than usual, 2003 was a worse season than normal. It seems that if there isn't enough sun to stimulate the production of sugar, the berries don't achieve their normal sweetness. This syndrome would theoretically apply to strawberries, too, I heard, but I had reasonable luck with them in early July 2003, perhaps because there was more sun during that part of the summer.
8/2006: This summer has been extremely sunny, hot, and humid. The blueberries are bigger than I can ever remember, and not just that, the number of big blueberries is more than before, at least based on the 8(!) boxes I bought from the Monahan Farm! The blueberries may not necessarily be sweeter than I can ever remember, but they are plenty sweet anyway!

Farms which offer pick-your-own blueberries (or other fruits or vegetables) are often smaller operations. Some of them sell pre-picked fruits (and maybe vegetables) and/or prepared products, including baked goods, fruit preserves, etc. Many farms allow you to bring your own container (they'll weigh it before you start picking and after you're done), and typically also sell containers for folks who don't bring their own.

It's worthwhile to call a farm to get up-to-date availability information on its pick-your-own fruits. Either a live person or a pre-recorded message ought to provide that information. Some farms (perhaps especially those that are smaller operations) may close with little or no advance warning, or might have delayed openings, on selected days, so that's another reason to call before you go.

Suggestions for a successful pick-your-own blueberries outing

With the goods
[Me, with my blueberry harvest]

Strawberry picking (added to this web page 7/2003)

Most of the notes above for blueberry picking also apply to strawberry picking. I've been told that the usual season for strawberry picking, however, is between mid-June and July 4th. Also, since strawberry plants are much smaller and lower to the ground than blueberry bushes, you wouldn't normally need to kneel on the ground to pick them.

The deep red strawberries are typically the sweetest. Since strawberries are larger than blueberries, if the pickings are good you can pick a good quantity of the former faster than you can a good quantity of the latter.

Getting there from Boston (around an hour's drive, or an hour and a half for Hickory Hill Farm)

Drive up Route 95 North, and then take the indicated other roads to get to any of these places.

And for Massachusetts... (just discovered this resource in 8/2005)

Someone else's web page on pick-your-own blueberries (and other things) farms in Massachusetts

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