If you’ve become a big fan of organic fruits and vegetables to the point where you would like to go straight to the farm or orchard to pick your own, Atlanta’s surrounding areas have plenty of choices. Blueberries and strawberries are in season right now. Please check ahead before visiting, and ask if it is cash only. Pets are not allowed at any of the farms. Farms usually have children and animals running around so please be careful as you drive up.
Try https://pickyourown.farm/ to get a complete listing of family farms and simple backyard organic gardens that sell in the Atlanta area. Here are a few of the bigger ones.
Tuckaway Blueberry Farm, Loganville is open in mid-June until late July. Blueberries only.
South Atlanta. Strawberries only, through June. Open by appointment only, due to limited parking.
Cumming. Strawberries now and pumpkins in the fall, plus hay rides, activities for the kids. Open June 1 until they are gone. Go online to get tickets (again because of limited parking). Military and senior discounts.
McDonough. Strawberries are available this month. An activities section for the kids, gem mining, country market preserves and bakery.
Lawrenceville. Blueberries, plain and simple. June and July.
A working farm in Covington. Strawberries, lavender and peaches are in season. Sunflowers later in the year. Gem mining, concessions and sometimes helicopter rides. Open every day. No charge for the market, meeting farm animals or playing on the playground. The ticketed corn maze and fun zone is closed until the fall.
A farm in Fayetteville. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are currently in season. Cantaloupe, peaches and nectarines will be out in late July. Their fresh roadside market sells homegrown vegetables and fruits. A Georgia Certified Farm Market.
Rutledge. A Georgia Grown member. Blueberries are ready now. Peaches, plums and nectarines are in season by late June. Pears and apples by late August.
Winder. Anticipates opening in late June for blueberries and blackberries.
Suggestions from the farmers: Please dress appropriately for picking with shoes you don’t mind getting dirty; bring sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. You might want to dress in long pants and long sleeves to ward off insects. Please watch your language and behavior around the children, and don’t taunt the animals. Bring your own bags to transfer the fruits from picking buckets. It is recommended to bring a cooler with ice and lay the bag over the ice, separated by thick towels, so the berries at the bottom of the bag won’t get squashed or ice burn. Keep them in the air conditioned part of the car on the way home.
Ripening fruits emit gasses that speed ripening if kept in an enclosed container or a plastic bag. Keep them open to air when you get home. Sweets Berry Farm has an extensive list of references for how to pick, save, freeze, can, jelly and make recipes for their fruits.
Bring a cooler of drinks and sandwiches, take photos, and make it a great day trip!