**UPDATE 5/28/20** – The 2020 U-Pick Blueberry Season has ended. Check back in March 2021 for next season.**
Blueberry picking has become an annual tradition in our house – every spring we make at least one trip (sometimes more) to Kirkland Farms and load up our buckets with delicious blueberries to take home and eat. U-Pick Blueberry Farms are abundant Polk County, and unlike U-Pick Strawberry Farms that are mostly in other counties, you can find quite a few blueberry farms to choose from that are all close to home, right here in Polk County. Our list includes U-Pick blueberry farms in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Auburndale, Dundee, Polk City, Lake Wales, and Eagle Lake.
Blueberry picking is a great outdoor activity for kids, from toddlers to teens. The berries grow on bushes anywhere from 3′-5′ tall, so they are easy for little ones to reach, and ripe berries come off the branch easily.
Don’t miss our Blueberry Picking Tips at the bottom of this post, and check out our Strawberry (January – March) and Peach (April – May) U-Pick Guides. We also have a list of U-Pick Sunflower Farms. If you’re looking for fresh produce, there are also numerous Farmers Markets happening weekly around Polk County, you can find them all in our Farmers Market Guide.
Blueberry Farms in Polk County (or nearby)
Blueberry Picking Tips
- Check the Farm’s website or Facebook page the day before or day of your visit to confirm hours
- Dress comfortably with closed toe shoes. You WILL be walking in dirt and you will get dirty!
- Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen – fields are in the sun. Light colored clothing is best.
- Pick early in the morning when it is still cool.
- Bring your own container. Some fields do not keep containers on site.
- Take CASH!! Many fields only accept cash.
- Keep in mind these are working farms, so there will be ants, bees, etc. If you or your children have allergies, take precautions.
- Select only firm ripe BLUE berries and be careful not to remove the tops of the berries when picking them off the bush. Red/purple/green berries are not ripe and will likely be SOUR.
- Berries need to be kept cool once picked, plan your day accordingly or bring ice if you aren’t taking them home immediately.
Tips for Storing Blueberries
- Once picked, don’t place the berries, still warm from the sun, in a closed bag or container. Leave the container open so moisture doesn’t form in the container.
- Don’t wash berries until just before using, to prevent berries from becoming mushy.
- Chill berries soon after picking to increase shelf life. Store your fresh blueberries in the refrigerator as soon as you get them home, without washing them, in a covered bowl or storage container. If refrigerated, fresh-picked blueberries will keep 10 to 14 days.
- Freeze berries in freezer containers without washing to keep the skins from toughening. Place berries one layer deep. Freeze, then pour the frozen berries into freezer containers. Because unwashed blueberries freeze individually, they can be easily poured from containers in desired amounts. Remember both frozen and fresh berries should be rinsed and drained just before serving. Just before using, wash the berries in cold water.