All In A Day's Drive

All in a Day's Drive: U-pick berry sites

All in a Day's Drive: U-pick berry sites
JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- If you enjoy fruit that's not from the supermarket, you can find plenty of u-pick sites in Lane County.

June is prime time for berry picking in Oregon. There are more than twenty u-pick sites in Lane County alone - that means fruit lovers don't have to venture too far to find a sweet reward.

With buckets in hand, Stacy Porter and her two helpers are scouring the rows searching for red gems.

“I think they're having more fun just trolling down the rows with their buckets,” Porter said.

This strawberry patch near Junction City is one of several that draws in families hoping to venture away from the city and pluck their own fruit.

“The berries from the field are definitely sweeter and juicier than anything you buy at the store,” Porter said.

“You're getting them about half price of what you do in the store if you're picking them yourself,” Bear Fruit owner TJ Bear says.

The season is winding down on strawberries and berry picking farms like Bear Fruit will soon shift their focus from red to blue.

“It'll be a heavy crop and it'll be a high quality crop,” Bob Wilt said.

Wilt runs Sunset Valley Organics outside Corvallis. The bluecrop berries at this roadside picking site are beginning to change color.

“You can just kind of set your clock that it's about three weeks - once you start seeing your first berries - it's about three weeks before we'll be you-picking,” continues Wilt.

Wilt says he plans to open up to their first customers after the fourth of July.

“It'd surprise you how fast - when the berries are this heavy - how fast you can pick when they're nice and ripe,” Wilt said.

“You can fill a bucket in ten minutes,” Porter said.

Bear says this will be the last weekend of the season for strawberries. You can find his berry plots just off Coburg Road east of Junction City.

You can find these roadside fruit havens All in a Day's Drive.