It’s berry season, here are some places to pick your own
25.11.2020

It’s berry season, here are some places to pick your own

Ditch the major supermarkets—it's always the season to pick your own fruit.

It’s no lie that in the Forte office we eat a lot of berries. And we’re sure we’re not alone. With a bunch of different orchards and farms around the place growing everything from strawberries and apples to blueberries and cherries, we thought it would be a great time to do a berry-picking run down.

We’ll see you out there.

Surfcoast Strawberry Fields, Mt Duneed

Nothing says summer on the coast quite like juicy strawberries warm from the sun, and fortunately for us, we have the opportunity to pick-your-own right on our doorstep.

Located between Geelong and Torquay, Surf Coast Strawberry Fields is a ‘pick your own’ strawberry farm with approximately nine acres of delicious strawberries, making it a great place to unwind, and enjoy the experience of fresh fruit picking, paddock to punnet.

Here, your strawberries are pre-paid. Adults are $7 for a 500gm punnet (or you can pick one kilogram for $12), while a 250gm punnet is $3 for the kiddies. Simply pay upon entry per person to enter the picking area, collect your strawberry punnet and you are ready to start picking. Just remember to follow the flags to the ripest berries in the field.

You can usually find a coffee and ice cream cart is on-site too, and their strawberry preserves available for purchase.

Just make sure to check their website or Facebook for updates on when they’re open as it’s purely dependent on the berries.

Paynes Orchards, Bacchus Marsh

Travel about an hour out of Geelong and you’ll find yourself at Paynes Orchards, the go-to orchard in the west for cherries, sour cherries, berries, apricots, peaches, nectarines and apples. While their regular season finished back in June, this glorious place has just reopened this month for cherry picking.

Entrance into the orchard is $5 for adult, and $2 for children between 3 and 12, plus an additional cost of fruit picked per Kg. You do have to pre-book your 40-minute picking session (because, you know, COVID and all) which can be easily done online.

There is also pre-picked cherries and fresh produce available in the shed for those special home cooked meals.

Keep an eye on their socials for picking updates and book your picking session here.

Pennyroyal Raspberry Farm, Murroon

The oldest working berry farm in south-west Victoria, the Pennyroyal farm is conveniently located off the Great Ocean Road – so there’s a scenic road trip to get there with a tasty ending. Specialising in raspberries and cultivated blackberries but still with other berries to pick, there’s also the Ciderhouse Café on-site offering home-made snacks and their award-winning Crucible Ciders or Berry Gins.

The farm will be reopening next weekend, on December 5, with new COVID-safe measures in place. You will be able to pick your berries from 10am until 4pm every day except Tuesdays, other than the two weeks of Christmas/New Year when they’ll open seven days a week except Christmas Day.

You’ll be able to see what’s available for picking ahead of time too via their website with their groovy little berry report, from raspberries, marionberries, and loganberries, to American Brambleberries, strawberries, gooseberries and plums, there’s something for everyone.

Visit the website for all the latest information.

Tuckerberry Hill, Drysdale

If blueberries and strawberries are your thing, Tuckerberry Hill has them sorted. Open on the weekends (though as always check ahead for availability) for strawberry picking, there’s also a local produce market where you can pick up some goodies to takeaway and a cafe slinging some tasty homemade treats.

One of the best things about this farm is the panoramic view of Port Phillip Bay that you get to bask in while picking those berries!

They’re currently open weekends, from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 3pm on Sundays for the very best in strawberry picking.

Find out the latest info via the website or on socials.

Naturipe Fruits, Bacchus Marsh

Located just outside Bacchus Marsh, this farm offers the chance to pick peaches, nectarines, cherries, strawberries or apples from the tree or orchard, depending on the season. A family run business for the last 20 years, they grow only the highest-quality fruit for a seriously unique berry picking experience.

Providing a stress-free environment, you’ll find that entry for everything except cherries absolutely free (cherry-picking is $6 for adults, $4 for kids). Simply collect your bucket, get picking and then you weigh what you pick and pay for it at the end, with prices depending on what it is you’re picking. Strawberries are $12 per kg, cherries are $10 per kg, while peaches and nectarines are just $4 per kg and apples are $3.50 per kg.

Fruits are available most of the year, from October to May, with both strawberry and cherry-picking currently available.

Oh and if you don’t have time to pick your own, but you want farm-fresh produce, they also have fresh fruit that’s picked daily for sale, ensuring the highest quality, freshness and unique taste.

Again, we recommend checking the website and socials for opening times and changes ahead of any adventuring.

 

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Gentle Annie Berry Gardens, Deans Marsh

With a café, restaurant and produce shop on site, Gentle Annie’s is located in Pennyroyal and another great spot to PYO berries. Located 20 minutes from Lorne and 40 minutes from Geelong, it serves as another berry roadtrip adventure.

Here’s you’ll be able to pick an abundance of different berries – some of which you mightn’t even have heard of before.

The venue is currently closed, with plans to reopen in early December. Your best bet is to keep an eye on their socials for updates or call them on 52363391. You can also visit the website.

Lomas Orchards, Wallington

A family-run farm established in 1938, Lomas Orchards grows and sells seasonal fruits, vegetables, berries, and heritage varieties of apples.

Their reason for making this list though is because they’ve got glorious strawberries ready for picking. There’s no entry fee and you simply pay for what you pick. It is worth noting the farm operates cash only so make sure you bring some coins.

If you’re a fan of locally grown produce, you can also pick up apples, oranges, honey, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, capsicum, mulberries, sweet potatoes, and more from their farm shop.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this farm is that they also grow Christmas Trees – real ones! You’ll be able to score a tree for between $55 and $80, depending how big you like your trees.

The farm is open Wednesday through to Saturday from 10am-4pm. The Facebook page serves as the best source for the most up to date information.

 

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Buninyong Blueberry Farm, Buninyong

Established in 1982, this farm has the choice of not one, but six different varieties of blueberries – who knew there were that many!? There are also ready-picked berries available to purchase, and the prices are much, much cheaper than your supermarket varieties.

The kicker with this one is that their bushes are still currently covered with green berries, so it’s looking like the farm will reopen at the start of January for ready-picked berries (which can be ordered ahead of time with a minimum 1kg order) and Pick Your Own fun later in the season (usually late January through to early March). You won’t find blueberries any fresher than these!

As always, check their socials or website for the latest information.

 

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