COVID-19 Travel Information
Geoff | 06/12/2020 | Willamette Valley Activities
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U-Pick Berry Farms Open With New Measures for a Trademark Oregon Summer Experience

As the summer months arrive, Oregon’s farms begin to bloom and showcase the bounty of the region.

In early summer, it’s leafy greens, carrots, onions, and of course, berries.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oregon leads the nation in producing blackberries, black raspberries, boysenberries, and loganberries—not to mention marionberries, first developed in the Willamette Valley. Much of our state’s berry production takes place in the Willamette Valley, where numerous local farms are open for U-pick experiences.

Although many farms are adopting heightened health and sanitation measures this season, the u-picking is still one of Oregon’s best summer traditions; it’s hard to beat a warm afternoon picking strawberries, blueberries, and marionberries from fields across the valley.

Christina Fordyce of Fordyce Farm in Salem says they’ll assign their U-pick customers two rows apart instead of the usual neighboring rows to enforce social distancing guidelines, adding that the farm will have a handwashing station by the field for both staff and customers.

Other farms are taking a bulk approach to minimize contact. Kiger Island Blues, a blueberry farm south of Corvallis, plans to sell by the bucket, instead of weighing fruit after it’s picked this year. “I’ve sourced food-grade buckets that my customers can fill up for a flat rate of $10 and then take the bucket home with them,” says farm owner Mindi Miller.

Some farms are expecting bigger crowds than ever this year as people look for safe, distant activities to enjoy the warm weather and look closer to home for alternative activities to regular vacations.

Harrisburg’s Detering Orchards actually temporarily closed its patch as a surge of customers picked most of the available berries—a sign of popularity to come. Availability shouldn’t be too much of a concern going forward, as farms expect ample fruit ready for picking as the heart of the season arrives.

However you choose to enjoy berries this year, it’s worth checking farm websites, social media accounts, or even calling ahead, as conditions and opening hours may change to stay in compliance with local and state guidelines.

To have a fun and enjoyable U-Pick experience, keep the following in mind:

For more information, the Oregon Farm Bureau offers a list of U-pick farms in the Willamette Valley.

PHONE: 866.548.5018
EMAIL: info@oregonwinecountry.org
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