The benefits of picking your own food are many, and not only are you picking for immediate enjoyment of the produce, but with a little know-how, you can freeze, dry, can or preserve your harvest for seasons to come! Here in South Carolina, we are lucky to live in a climate that allows for outdoor activity the majority of the year, and a state that heavily promotes agriculture and agritourism through its Department of Agriculture. The agriculture industry is so crucial to South Carolina’s economy, and many farmers are doing their part to improve it by expanding their farm operations to include agriculture-based activities that are open to the public. This also serves to increase awareness about agricultural issues, nutrition, horticulture and our local economy.
When researching a pick your own, U-pick or PYO farm or orchard, first consider the time of year and which crops are in season and available to pick. Different fruits, berries and vegetables are available each month of the year, depending on location, weather and other factors. Some farms also offer “organic” and/or “sustainable” crop options. Always call the farm before you go to make sure they are open and if the produce you want is available for picking. In South Carolina, generally, the fruits and vegetables available from March to June are: Asparagus, Lima Beans, Pole & Snap Beans, Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Cabbage, Turnip Greens, Collards, Lettuce, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Okra, Onions, Field Peas, Potatoes, Squash, Tomatoes and Turnips.
When taking a day trip to a farm to pick, remember to wear comfortable clothing, sun protection, liquids to stay hydrated, picking containers, snacks and a camera. At the farm you’ll want to find out how they charge for picking – by weight, volume or count. Depending on what you want to pick, the farm staff can give you more information on the food’s ripeness and what to look for, how to pick them, and what to do once you get them home. Happy picking!
With spring comes a bounty of fresh fruits, berries and vegetables, available everywhere from road stands to grocery stores. Spring also marks the beginning of the planting season for much of our food, but if you don’t have a green thumb you can still get your own fresh harvest by picking your own produce at local participating farms!
Bush-N-Vine Farm | 1650 Filbert Hwy, York, SC 29745
What: Pick Your Own Strawberries (spring), Blueberries (early Summer), Blackberries (early/mid summer), Peaches (all summer). They also host “Strawberry Saturdays” and “Slices of Summer” events! Check website for current prices.
When: Monday-Friday 8 am – 6 pm, Saturday 8 am – 5 pm, closed on Sundays.
Hunter Farm | 607 Jameson Road, Easley SC 29640
What: Pick a basket or two of strawberries then visit the ice cream stand for a milkshake, ice cream cone, frozen coffee or fruit smoothie! | Pick your own: $11/gallon | Pre-picked: $14/gallon
When: Mid/late April through late May/early June | Monday-Friday: 8am – 7pm, Saturday: 8am – 6pm, Sunday: 1-5pm
The Ivy Place | 8603 Van Wyck Road, Lancaster, SC 29720
What: Strawberries $2.35 for U-pick and $3.10 for pre-picked (check facebook page for blackberry and blueberry prices). The Ivy Place has rustic barns, a gorgeous home, and lovely gardens as well!
When: Strawberry season starts mid-April, blackberries and blueberries start mid-June.
Monday through Friday, 10 am – 6 pm | Saturday 10 am – 5 pm | Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm.
Hickory Bluff Berry Farm | 245 Hickory Bluff Lane, Holly Hill, SC 29059
What: U-pick strawberries are $1.99/lb and pre-picked baskets are $13 (5lb). You can also find blueberries, blackberries, berry jams, fresh vegetables, garden plants, cut flowers and local honey at the farm!
When: April through June | Monday – Saturday 8 am – 6 pm, Sundays 11 Noon – 6 pm
Cottle Strawberry Farm | 2533 Trotter Road, Hopkins, SC 29061
What: Pick your own fresh, sweet, local strawberries! | Call or check Facebook for current pricing information.
When: Mid-April through mid-June, Mon-Fri 8am until 7pm, Sat 8am until 7pm, Sun 11 Noon until 6pm
Old McCaskill’s Farm’s annual Spring Shearing Day
will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from
10am-6pm and will feature shearing, spinners, weavers, quilters, blacksmith, working saw mill, working grits mill, Border Collie demos and much more! Farm fresh concessions will also be available. Come out to this fun-filled family event and get a taste of what life is like on a working farm!
377 Cantey Lane, Rembert, SC