July 26, 2016
Special Guest blog by Marsha Apke
I have been wanting to take my girls blueberry picking for several weeks now, but between camps and other activities we just haven’t had time. After waking up this morning and thinking about what we should do today, I decided it was a great morning for picking. So we had a quick breakfast, threw on some clothes (after a few years of experience, I highly recommend blue or purple shirts) and headed about 10 miles up the road to Olde Carthage Farm in, well, Carthage.
Olde Carthage Farm is a family owned, certified organic farm which currently produces blueberries, blackberries and grapes (ready soon!). You can pick your own or buy baskets that are already picked for you. Unfortunately, we could not pick blackberries today because they need a few days to replenish from over-picking. We were told they should be back up and ready to go this weekend. However, the 18 rows of blueberries were more than enough to keep us busy!
After being greeted by the sweetest most friendly lady and given directions, each girl grabbed a plastic bucket and we were off! We were lucky to be there early enough that some rows were still in the shade so that is where we started. The blueberry bushes were beautiful and plentiful! We all had the best time seeing who could find the biggest blueberry. Even the smaller berries were sweet and delicious. The girls and I picked for around 45 minutes before the heat started making my four year old a little whiny.
After combining the three buckets, we almost had one filled to the top. Miss Friendly, our greeter, encouraged us to fill our bucket all the way up to a “rounded heap”, so we picked a little longer to squeeze in as many berries as we could.
Then it was time to take a break in the little shaded swing area. In addition to the swing, there was also a picnic table, several chairs and a wagon for parents of little ones to use to pull their child(ren) around the farm. I thought this was a great idea and a convenient “extra” to have at the farm.
After enjoying the nice breeze, we walked over to see the most beautiful flower garden! Miss Friendly gave us a basket, pair of scissors and sent us off to cut the stems of our choice (three for $1). The girls loved finding the perfect flowers to take home and enjoy on our kitchen table. And I just loved seeing them with the cute little basket of flowers. We also enjoyed watching the dozens of butterflies fluttering around. My oldest had several land on her finger!
While searching for flowers, my littlest said, “Mom, I really have to go potty”. I fully expected that to be the end of our visit as I was sure there was no potty. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only is there a bathroom, it is very clean and well stocked with toilet paper, paper towels and soap. Perfect! So she took care of business and then we spent some more time smelling the flowers and watching the butterflies.
When the heat started to get to us and it was time to leave, the girls rested in the rocking chairs while I paid for our goodies. Miss Friendly said our bucket wasn’t quite heaping, so only charged me $19 instead of the normal $20 for a bucket full. Of course, you can pick as much or as little as you want for various prices. We were there around an hour and 15 minutes total, and I spent $22 ($19 for berries, $2 for six flower stems and $1 for a bottle of water). The cold water is another nice touch that the farm offers. Our last stop while waiting for the car to cool down was to check out the pond that the farm uses to water their produce. Of course I had to get a few pics of my girls on the dock.
I was beyond impressed with Old Carthage Farm. From the peaceful, beautiful scenery to the delicious berries, this was a morning that my girls and I all truly enjoyed. We will definitely visit again soon to pick blackberries and then grapes which should be available mid-August through late September. June 15th kicked off their blueberry season and it will wrap up in another week or two. Open 8:30-6:30, get there as soon as you can!