For my family, summer doesn’t officially begin until we venture out to the local fields and fill our buckets with the first berries of the year. This week we did just that. Yum!
Mid-June is strawberry season in Whatcom County, and it is worth waiting for. Nothing compares to a perfectly ripe berry picked fresh off the vine, dripping with juice and sweet flavor. Of course to fully appreciate it, one should pick it yourself. On a sunny day, there is earthy rejuvenation to be found in row after row of emerald green leaves hiding nature’s most tasty treats. As I was reminded by many small children also in the field – it’s more fun than an Easter egg hunt. “Look mom, over here! I found one that’s supa wed (super red)!
Many people wonder, “Where is the best place to pick berries near Bellingham?” The truth is, there are several great spots. For this trip we chose Barbie’s Berries at 7655 Melody Lane in Ferndale. They grow the Hood variety, which is very sweet and soft, with a short-shelf life. This means eat them up now (and who can keep their hands off of them?), or freeze them for later. We brought them home and made jam right away – another sign that it is finally summer!
Barbies is a no-frills berry farm with fantastic product. They are open in June and July offering strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. We had a great time.
Boxx Berry FarmĀ is also a favorite location for my family. Located at 6211 Northwest Road in Ferndale, it opens with a strawberry festival each June. This is a large farm, and the Boxx family has put incredible effort into making it visitor friendly. It offers U-pick strawberries (Puget Reliance, Tillamook or Shuksan varieties), raspberries and blueberries, but also a gorgeous grassy park near the back of the property, swing sets, and a beautiful farm stand open June through September, with fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, ice cream, jams and jellies, etc.
Berry picking is just tiring enough to require a little ice cream, so we had to stop at Boxx for two scoops. We’ll be back soon for raspberries and blueberries, as well as corn in the fall.
Here’s a break down of the details regarding U-pick berries in Whatcom County. By the way, more than 65 percent of all the red raspberries grown in the United States originate in this fertile valley, making it a berry capitol of the nation. The Whatcom Food & Farm Finder brochure has a great map of all farm stand locations. Look for it at the Bellingham Visitors Center, Bellingham Farmer’s Market, or at each location listed below.
Whatcom County berry seasons
- Strawberries: Mid-June
- Raspberries: Mid-July
- Blueberries: Early August
- Blackberries: Mid August
What you need for picking berries
- Buckets are usually provided in the fields, but it’s good to bring your own containers to carry the berries home. Or pay a little extra for boxes.
- Grubby clothes that can get dirty.
- Cash or check is often preferred for payment.
Whatcom County U-pick berry farms
Barbie’s Berries, Open Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7655 Melody Lane, Ferndale, WA, 360-384-1260. Features strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
Bellingham Country Gardens, Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, 2838 E. Kelly Road, Bellingham. Features everbearing strawberrries June through Sept.
Boxx Berry Farm, Open Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 6211 Northwest Road, Ferndale, 360-380-2699. Features strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries.
Breckenridge Blueberries, Open Wed-Sun 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 3595 Breckenridge Rd., Everson, 360-220-4102. Features blueberries.
Cascade Blueberry Farm, Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 2667 Willey’s Lake Road, Custer, 360-961-7081. Features blueberries.
Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Open Wed-Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. andĀ Sun 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 6906 Goodwin Road, Everson, 360-966-5859. Features raspberries and blueberries.
Generations Blueberry Farm, Open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sat 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 2298 Stickney Island Road, Everson, 360-966-2600. Features blueberries.
Haugen’s Raspberries and Blueberries, Open Mon-Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 577 Pole Road, Lynden, 360-354-4764. Features Meeker raspberries and Duke blueberries.
Mount Baker Berry Farm, Open Sat-Sun 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 5384 Strand Road, Deming, 360-595-2194. Features seven varieties of blueberries.
Shumway’s Berries, Open daily dawn to dusk at three locations: 6010 Siper Road, Everson (features strawberries), 3957 Mount Baker Highway, Everson (features raspberries and blackberries), 7845 Noon Road, Lynden (features blueberries).