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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Haven Blueberry Farm Opens Friday

Haven Blueberry Farm in Tyee will open this Friday, June 28 at 8:00 am.  They posted these details on their website:

The farm will open for the 2013 u-pick season Friday, June 28.  Hours are 8:00 am to 2:00 pm Monday thru Saturday.  (Closed Sunday) Prices: $1.10/lb for U-Pick, $2.25/lb for PrePicked berries.  We do not accept credit or debit cards.  (checks OK)
Orders for PrePicked berries can be placed on our phone message (541-459-0364) or by e-mail ( blueberries@thehavenfarm.com)
We will provide buckets to pick in, but pickers should bring containers to take berries home.
We will be picking Dukes and Spartans.  It looks like a pretty good crop of Dukes this season, with a relatively heavy crop and a high percentage of large berries.  The clusters generally consist of fully ripe berries, with some green berries to leave for the second picking. 
The strange weather this spring has produced a lot of ripe berries in the Spartan field.  While we would usually open Spartans for upick about a week after the Dukes, this year we should be able to pick ripe berries, at their prime, through-out the season.  (We have eaten a few "test" breakfasts of both varieties and think most people will be pleased with the quality) 
If you've never picked at Haven before, here's what you need to know:  Cars will begin lining up along the road between 7:00 and 7:30 am.  Most people come to pick in groups to save gas because it's quite a drive.  One person needs to get out of the car and line up at the gate.  When they open the gate at 8:00, everyone rushes in to get their row assignments.  You need to have a general idea of how many pounds of berries your group wants to pick because you might want more than one row and they will ask how many buckets you want.  You pick into their standard buckets and then transfer the berries to your own (shallow) containers after you pay for them.

After you have your row assignments, the cars begin driving in to park.  Hopefully you get to park close to your row so you can carry your filled buckets to your car to stash them until you're finished picking.  Don't leave them in your row; filled buckets have been known to disappear! 

Picking is easy at Haven.  They grow commercial varieties that ripen in big clusters and the berries are huge.  You can pick a lot of berries in a short amount of time.  It's a bit stressful getting started because this is an annual event that people come from all over for and it will be crowded!!!  I personally prefer the leisurely, kid-friendly picking at Big Bend Berries in Garden Valley (which should open this Tuesday or Wednesday) and I like the flavor of some of their varieties better, but I pick at both places because we eat so many blueberries I need to make sure I get enough to last the whole year.  Plus, once you get going at Haven, it's kind of fun to be out picking with what seems like the entire community in a lovely setting along the river.  You see the same people every year and everyone is so enthusiastic about our local berries that it warms my heart.

Bring plenty of water to quench your thirst and have fun!

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