As the strawberry season ends, Tennessee has plenty of blueberries and blackberries available for picking during summer months.

“Our berry plants are loaded with fruit this season,” Connie Massey of Circle S Farms in Lebanon said. “Our blueberries are in full swing with lots of ripe berries for picking.”

Blackberries there ripened just last week.

Farmers in some areas of the state say blackberries and blueberries are coming into season later this year. Visitors should call ahead to check availability and to find out if the farm allows you to pick berries or picks for you. Visitors who pick their own should bring water to stay hydrated since blueberries and blackberries can take time to pick. Berries do not ripen after picking, so select berries that are fully ripe and pull free easily.

“We expect to have blueberries the first or second week of July,” Chris Plemons of Sweet River Berry Farm in Charleston said late last month. “Be sure to watch our Facebook page for updates on berry availability.”

Berries are easy to freeze and use later. Many delicious recipes incorporate frozen fruits, allowing you to enjoy your harvest well past peak growing season. 

Fresh or frozen, the Pick Tennessee Products website features recipes for berries. Two favorites can be found here:  www.picktnproducts.org/find-products/recipes/desserts/desserts/blackberry-cheesecake-ice-cream.html and www.picktnproducts.org/find-products/recipes/desserts/desserts/lemon-blueberry-pie.html.

When friends and relatives come to visit this summer, consider on-farm activities like sunflower festivals, making soap, or taking an art class to create great memories in a relaxed setting. 

Many agritourism farms have shelters for picnics, playgrounds, and areas for all ages to explore. Each season brings something new to Tennessee’s farms. Visit throughout the year to experience all the state’s farms have to offer.

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