Berry Picking in Greater Vancouver
Activity:My most favourite food in the whole wide world are strawberries. I can't wait for school to get out, cause that's when Mom says the strawberries are ripe. And that's not all, cause after the strawberries come the raspberries, and after raspberries come my second most favourite food in the world, blueberries.
Every year, for as long as I've been alive, Mom and Dad have taken Nathe and I strawberry picking. Strawberries actually grow in little green bushes close to the ground. My friend Delores has never even seen a strawberry plant before! I love going to the strawberry patch, because you can pick the biggest, juiciest ones and eat them right away. Dad always says I eat more than I take home.
It usually takes about one hour before Dad starts complaining about his lower back, and then Mom says it's time for us to go home. By that time we've already picked enough strawberries for Mom to bake a pie, make some jam, and of course, for Nathe and I to eat with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce.
I figured out that we have berries all summer long:
- First come the strawberries, they start in the beginning of June and end in mid-July.
- Raspberries are next, their season starts around July 1st and lasts for about one month.
- Blueberries have the same season as raspberries.
- Not too many people pick currants, but I'll mention them anyway: currants go from the end of June to mid-July.
- And then just about the time we're getting ready to go back to school the blackberries get ripe. There are tons of blackberry patches in Vancouver. Mom and I can get a bowl full just by walking around our neighbourhood.
If you ever go hiking up the mountains around here, you've probably found some little red berries growing on bushes. Those are huckleberries. Bears like to eat them. There's even wild blueberries. One day last September we went hiking around Goldie Lake on Mount Seymour and I ate so many wild blueberries I almost got sick!
Even in late September you can find something to pick, because that's when the chestnuts start falling. Dad always takes us back to the neighbourhood where his grandmother lived (on Penticton Street between Dundas Street and Hastings Street) in East Vancouver. Nathe and I get so many chestnuts we can't even carry them anymore.
:Ya know, it's a lot of work growing strawberries. You have to put the seeds in the ground, water them, and then when the strawberries are ripe, make sure the birds don't peck at them. I don't think I'd like to grow strawberries for a living, but I sure am glad somebody does.
:It takes about an hour to drive out to the strawberry patch, so bring something to do in the car. And remember, don't eat too many!
Details:There are several U-Pick farms in the Vancouver area, here are a few. Be sure to call ahead to confirm availability of berries.
Bissett Farms, 2170 Westham Island Rd, Delta (big blue barn) (604) 946-7139, www.westhamislandwinery.com. Hint: combine with a visit to George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary - Ladner.
Krause Brothers in Aldergrove. Take 264th exit off Highway One. 6179 -248th St. Aldergrove (604) 856-5757. or visit www.krauseberryfarms.com. Hint: Combine with a visit to Greater Vancouver Zoo - Aldergrove.
Maan Farms in Abbotsford. 790
McKenzie Road, Abbotsford, BC. In addition to strawberries,
blueberries, and raspberries, they grow a variety of garden
veggies. They also offer homestyles jams, fresh baked pies, and
gourmet ice cream. Call 604-308-2205 or visit www.maanfarms.com for more
17771 Westminister Highway, Richmond
Birak Berry Farms
9111 No. 6 Road, Richmond
Emma Lea Farms Ltd.
2727 Westham Island Road, Delta
Clingan Blueberry Farm
24576 - 32 Avenue, Langley
5180 - 152 St., Surrey
Formosa Nursery in Maple Ridge grows organic blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, oriental pears and others. Located at 12617 - 203rd Street, Maple Ridge. For more information (604) 465-3359 or visit www.formosanursery.com.
See also The Apple Farm - Chilliwack.
Area:Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Aldergrove, Ladner, Delta
Educational highlights:Did you know that Abbotsford is the raspberry capital of Canada?
Fun for the adult?:I can tell Mom likes to go berry picking, because she used to live on a farm. I'm not sure about Dad though, because as soon as we get home his back doesn't bother him anymore.