I don’t know about you, but I have been begging my kids to go play outside all summer! They have a big yard, a playset, bikes, scooters, sidewalk chalk, you name it. But it’s like pulling teeth to get them to enjoy some sunshine time!
So last Friday, I took them far away from the air conditioning and TV that beckon them, and to a place where they were sure to get some fresh air and exercise. We went blueberry picking with my friend Lessa, her daughter, and another friend of my girls! We had been to a wonderful farm a few years ago, and I had such fond memories, that I just had to find it again.
I searched on the web, and found just the place: Old Orchard Creek in Lansing, NC, right in the heart of Ashe County. It was just as I had remembered it. The drive out there was incredible and scenic. I can just imagine the painted hillsides in the fall, when the apples are ready. It only took about 20 minutes from downtown West Jefferson. You can get directions here.
There are tons of fruit-filled bushes. The first few bushes, of course, are the most popular (and the first to be depleted), but if you want to get lots of really juicy ones, you may have to trek a little farther into the patch. We went about halfway up the row, and the kids found myriad treasures to fill their buckets, and their bellies.
A few times, as I picked, I had to stop for a few seconds and just look around. The views were breathtaking! Sometimes I take for granted the paradise which is our home, but this visit definitely cured that.
Another great lesson in an outing like this is teaching the kids where our food really comes from. They need to know that it doesn’t just come from a grocery store, but from the very land that’s cultivated with care by a real live person. And in this day and age, I feel great about knowing exactly where my food comes from. It is such a pleasure to support our local farmers and the heritage they’ve created here in the High Country. Old Orchard Creek uses organic and sustainable farming practices
The prices at Old Orchard Creek are very reasonable. We got 5 quarts for $8.00. Otherwise, they are $2/Qt. for You-Pick, and $3/Qt. for ready-pick. They sell drinks and snacks, but we packed a lunch and ate in in the shelter they have right there. The kids fed the goats grass through the fence, and they had fun escaping to the shade of the grapevines.
If you’re looking for an outing with family or friends, this is a winner! Their blueberries are usually available July through August, but check the website or call, just in case. They also have Apples, and Cottages for rent.
If you go, here are some tips:
- Bring sunscreen and hats/sunglasses. The sun can get really hot out there.
- Bring your own containers to carry your blueberries home.
- You can always buy a snack and drink, but you may want to bring your lunch.
- Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Especially the kids, they tend to get blueberry juice on their clothes. Imagine that!
- Follow the signs! There are white signs with “Blueberries” written on them. Sometimes you might wonder if you’ve gone too far. Chances are you haven’t.
So how about it? Are you ready to get pickin’? Click here to see more photos from our outing.
PS. Barb, we need some blueberry recipes! I know you’ve got ’em!