Picking the huge, juicy blackberries in our brambles has become a summer highlight for families and friends near and far.
The story of the blackberries at Elderslie is rooted in curiosity, soul-searching and the 2008 market crash. (When you see George, ask about the composting toilets.)
In 2009, George and his sister Alexis began traveling to fruit farms in Kansas. Everyone had apple trees, and some people had peach trees. Most had a smattering of other small fruits that they were interested in but did not do too much with. But multiple times, George heard the comment, “oh, when those blackberries go, you cannot stop people from getting into them.”
2021 Blackberry Season
We are now carefully tending the brambles and doing all we can to prepare for the 2021 harvest, which is expected to begin around the beginning of July and continue for about three weeks.
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Note: No reservations are currently being accepted.
Sign-ups for the number of pails of blackberries you would like to pick are posted on Eventbrite on Thursdays at 8 a.m. for the following week.
Picking times are generally sometime between 8 and 10:30 a.m. and are indicated on the sign-ups on Eventbrite.
Please note that You-Picks generally fill up within a couple of minutes. It can appear that there are “tickets” available when beginning a registration but the system completes another order in the meantime. It’s frustrating for our customers and for us, too! That being said, if you do get signed up, we would deeply appreciate it if you would email us at email@example.com if you find you can’t make it, or if you end up not needing as many pails as you signed up for, so we can open more up for others.
George checks the berries the afternoon before each picking and if he can add pails to the Eventbrite signup, he will (usually by 4 pm).
- Cost of You-Pick Pails (2 quarts): $18
- Arrive any time in the picking period but at least 20 minutes before the end.
- Berry Ferries run every 15 minutes or so.
- Taste three then put the rest in the pail and leave room for the lid. Please monitor your children.
- Snap on the lid when you’re finished picking.
- You may pay for your pails at the Cafe or Creamery before or after picking.
- Our berries are thornless – no gloves are needed.
- The aisles between the berries in the bramble are grass (occasionally damp but not muddy).
- No special clothing is required, but tennis shoes or walking shoes are encouraged.
- Our brambles are well manicured and do not require gloves.
- The ground is not level in the bramble. Persons with crutches or other walking impairments should use caution or remain at the Bramble Café during picking.
A limited quantity of half-pints of pre-picked blackberries will be available for sale in half-pints in the Creamery Shop for $5.50.
Creamery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 8:30-2:00 p.m.; Fridays 4-6:00 p.m.
Please note: credit cards and gift cards only; no cash.
Your Fresh Berries
Once you pick or purchase blackberries, refrigerate or cool them as soon as possible to preserve their shelf life. Consider bringing a cooler to store your berries in if you are staying for breakfast or lunch at Bramble Cafe or picking up FroYo, cheese, etc., in the Creamery Shop. Once you get your berries home and in the fridge, you should have 3-5 days of good shelf life. Do not wash berries before storing but do give them a rinse before eating.
To freeze berries, you may leave them in the pail and put them in the freezer or divide them into Ziploc bags in desired amounts to use for later. Or place individual berries on a cookie sheet in the freezer, then move them to a Ziploc bag to maintain the shape.
Our Berry Care Practices
We use natural practices in our brambles. We use compost, digested fish and minerals as the basis of our fertility program. We use neem oil, beneficial bacteria, seaweed extract, and elemental products to help sustain plant health and encourage insect balance. Our sprays used on the plant canopy are 100% natural products. We strive to use cultural practices like pruning to manage insects and diseases.