What do you think it is the perfect gift for Father's Day for a food blogger? If you said get out in the field with daughters in tow and do some picking, then you answered correctly. Yesterday I went to Whittaker's Berry Farm to partake in some strawberry picking. I came on the perfect day. It was not too hot out, there was a light breeze, and the crop was at it's peak. There were strawberries a plenty. Strawberry season in Michigan lasts around 3 weeks, so finding the perfect time to go isn't always easy, but this year we nailed it.
Once you have reached the farm you follow the colorful strawberries signs up the driveway. You are then greeted by a worker who provides you with boxes for your berries to go in. The boxes are free and they make sure they zero out the box when they weigh your berries. What I really like was they told us what variety of strawberries were available to pick that day. As a food blogger, I want to know the exact variety of all the fruit I get my hands on, and in this case I didn't even have to ask. The variety we picked were Honeoye (click here to learn more about them). They also grow Jewel and Allstar.
So when you have your boxes you head out to a specific part of the field. There is a worker there who will assign you to row to pick in. I really like their setup. They have blue flags that begin at the front of a row. You pick as many berries in your row as you like and when you are all done you put the flag at where you stopped. This way people aren't wasting their time trying to find good picking spots and it assures less berries are wasted by over ripening.
When you are all done, just hop back in your vehicle, and head for the exit where they will weight your berries and you pay for them. The cost was $1.30/lb.
Overall it was an enjoyable experience. The run a nice, clean, and organized operation. I would definitely visit again in the future when in the area. Whittaker's Berry Farm is run by the Whittaker family, who are 2nd generation berry farmers. The farm is located at 6724 Todd Road, Ida, MI 48140. Their phone number is 734-269-6612. Their hours are Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm and Sat - Sun: 8:00 pm - 5:00 pm. For more information visit their website or like their facebook page.
Whittaker's also offers raspberries (the Caroline variety) for u-pick usually beginning near the end of August and lasting into the middle of October.