Posted 5-18-14: Blackberry picking season opens Monday, May 19, 2014. This year, we plan to have picking only on SOME weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. However, if we get picked out for any of those days, the field will be closed at that time. Please call 281-255-3699, check Facebook, or see post immediately following this general section. (We try to keep this website updated, but it does not always show up immediately after we post it.) We got a good 4.5” rain last week, so the berries are plump and juicy. In a few days, we will also have U-Pick cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes. Both the berries and the small tomatoes are LOADED, so we’re looking forward to a great season.
Pickers, please arrive by 5:30 pm so that you may pick and check out before our 6:00 pm closing time. Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway, and park in the lot up near Gosling Road. (Pickers, thank you for NOT parking in front of the building so that area can remain open for market shoppers.) Walk south to our Farmer’s Market and get a bucket and picking instructions. Price for U-Pick is $4.50/lb. We accept cash, MC, Visa, and Discover, with a minimum purchase of $10 for credit cards.
Directions: If you would like to pick berries, please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway. Please park in the shaded lot up near Gosling Road. Thank you for keeping the front of the market parking for short-term shoppers. After parking, come into the market for a bucket and picking instructions. Once you have picked all you desire, return to the market and we will weigh your purchase. The buckets are lined with plastic bags, so we just remove the bag and you can take your purchase home in that.
How to select a great blackberry: First and foremost, red berries are sour and will stay sour–they will not ripen after picking. In blackberries, more important than the size of the berry is the size of the individual “drupes,”–the little round balls that make up the blackberry. The larger they are, the greater the pulp-to-seed ratio, so the juicier the berry. Also, if you feel the need to tug on the berry at all, just leave it–if you attempt to break the berry stem over at an approximate 90 degree angle (right angle, L-shape) , a fully ripe one will fall into your hand. When that happens you know you just found a perfect one! Oh, one more thing–if you wear sunglasses while picking, you just might end up with a whole bucket of red blackberries. Just peek out from under them in the beginning to discover what color berry you need to pick so you get the ones you want.
How to freeze blackberries: We recommend washing the berries before freezing them. Pour the washed berries into a 1 lb. plastic clamshell (the kind like we sell strawberries, blackberries, okra, etc. in, or you may have some from Driscoll’s strawberries, etc.). The excess water drains out the bottom holes and you can stack these in your freezer with a pan underneath to catch the last drips. After the berries are frozen solid, you can hit the container on the cabinet and the berries will all separate from one another. Then pour the berries into a plastic zip-top bag, squeeze out excess air, flatten the bag and put it back in the freezer. This way, the water is completely drained from the berries and they don’t take up much room in the freezer.
Please note that fields are only open to the public during picking season. All other times of the year the public is not allowed in the field. Please observe the boundary signs and stay within the designated areas. All other farm property, including poultry house, is ALWAYS cl0sed to the public. Note that the bee hive area is always closed . Please remember, this is a WORKING FARM and contains restricted areas that are closed to the public for safety reasons. Parents, please make sure children at all times observe all warning signs and barrier tape, and treat the plants in a respectful manner. No pets (other than guide dogs) are permitted anywhere on the farm. PLEASE NOTE: The picking field and Farmer’s Market are the ONLY areas that are open to the public.