Blueberry Picking in Fort Ogden, Florida
Feels as though I’m always on the go because I don’t want to miss out on all the cools things of life which is why I spent this morning at English Lake Farm in Fort Ogden, Fla., picking blueberries and peaches. I was inspired for the outing by fellow travel writer and blogger, Lucy Tobias. I read her “Saturday Mornings with Lucy” e-newsletter which highlighted her her Saturday morning experience of picking blueberries.
So, I hopped on the iPhone and located the closest U-Pick farm and was pleasantly surprised to find English Lake Farm (7288 S. West Lime Dr., Tel: 863-990-6164) not too far from Port Charlotte. It’s located in Southwest Florida between Punta Gorda and Arcadia, off U.S 17.
The hosts provide a bucket lined with a plastic bag and provide tips on where to find the fruit. Blueberries are on their last run and peaches are ripening on branches and sweet for picking. I could smell that sweet, peach scent as I walked up to the trees.
Blueberries were the day’s main objective and although I’m not sure how long I was outside, it was less than an hour in the Florida heat and humidity and I gathered 2.5 pounds of the sweet berries. Only picked half-a-pound of peaches. Blueberries are usually $6 a pound and peaches $2.50 but the farm sometimes runs specials. Call ahead.
Looking for a U-pick farm near you? Check out PickYourOwn.org – it’s a fave site I referenced when living in Tallahassee.
My tips for blueberry picking:
- Watch your step, especially look for red ants! (Yes, I speak from experience)
- Keep an eye on the sky – sometimes you’re competing for fruit with birds and they don’t like it when folks mess with their food source.
- Keep protected from the sun, this includes sunscreen and hat.
- Wear closed-toed shoes – this prevents critters such as bugs from biting and crawling on you.
- Go early in the day because it’s cooler and better chance to find fruit.
- Don’t forget an extra bag or two in case the farm doesn’t provide them.
- Bring a cooler with ice (or ice packets) to keep the fruit cool on the way home.
- Pack along water, Florida summers are hot!