Pick Your Own Summer Fruit at These 6 Michigan Farms

These day-trip-worthy orchards let you pick blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and more
summer fruit - cherry picking
Photo: IStock

Fresh, ripe, juicy berries may be the ultimate summer food. They can be simmered and served alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream, baked into a sweet pie, or simply enjoyed fresh. Luckily for Michiganders, our state’s unique climate and soil composition allows these sweet treats to flourish throughout the state during the summer, and farm-fresh berries aren’t far. For the absolute freshest summer fruits, visit one of these six spots and pick blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and more straight off the bush.

Verellen Orchards & Cider Mill

This historic orchard and cider mill in Washington is a certified Michigan Centennial Farm, meaning it’s been operated by the same family for over 100 years. Visit in June and early July for fresh strawberry picking, or in late July and August for cherry picking. Nectarines, peaches, plums, and other summer fruits are also available pre-picked. Check out the on-site bakery for a huge selection of fruit pies, doughnuts, muffins, and cookies, or pick up a jar of house-made jam, salsa, or honey from the farm store. Those looking to cool off after a day of fruit-picking can enjoy fresh fruit slushes, iced tea, and Cook’s Farm Dairy ice cream. Verellen Orchards & Cider Mill, 63260 Van Dyke, Washington; 586-752-2989; verellenorchards.com

Hazen’s Blueberry Farm

For three generations, the Hazen family has operated this 25-acre blueberry farm in Howell. It offers a unique array of blueberry varieties, from Bluecrop — the most widely-planted blueberry variety in the U.S. — to Blueray, a sweet, dessert-ready blueberry that favors Michigan’s cold winters and hot summers. The formal beginning of blueberry-picking season, which is expected in mid-July, will be announced on the farm’s website and Facebook page. In the meantime, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with artisan fruit pies, ice cream, cookies, and muffins at Sweet Maria, the farm’s on-site bake shop. Visitors can also snag raw honey made from the local hives of Livingston County. Hazen’s Blueberry Farm, 1144 Peavy Road, Howell; 517-548-1841; hazensfarm.com

 Brookwood Fruit Farm

This fifth-generation Almont fruit farm specializes in growing high-quality apples, cherries, peaches, and other fruits. Starting July 9, the farm’s tart cherry orchards will be ready for visitors to pick to their hearts’ content. To sweeten the deal, the orchard offers free pitting for all cherries picked on-site. Brookwood Fruit Farm, 7845 Bordman Road, Almont; 810-798-8312; brookwoodfruitfarm.com

Blueville Acres Blueberry Farm - summer fruit
Blueville Acres Blueberry Farm’s berries will be ready for picking starting in mid-July. // Photograph courtesy of Blueville Acres Blueberry Farm

Blueville Acres Blueberry Farm

The blueberry bushes at this quaint Belleville farm, which date back to 1968, have been sustained through the decades thanks to careful, organic farming practices. The farm’s “no-spray” approach to pest control utilizes scrupulous trimming and pruning techniques — rather than chemical sprays and powders — to keep its plants healthy. The blueberries are expected to be ready for picking starting in mid-July this year, and the farm will announce the formal beginning of the season on its Facebook page. Visitors can also grab fresh eggs courtesy of the farm’s free-range, corn- and soy-free hens. Blueville Acres Blueberry Farm, 38093 Judd Road, Belleville; facebook.com/bluevilleacres 

Slow Farm

This certified organic u-pick farm, located just four miles north of downtown Ann Arbor, offers strawberry picking through July 3. If you miss out on the berries, don’t fret — the farm will soon announce u-pick events for its other summer produce, including garlic, lettuce, kale, and mustard greens. The crops, most of which are heirloom varieties, are insecticide-, herbicide-, and pesticide-free. Slow Farm, 4700 Whitmore Lake Road, Ann Arbor; 917-837-0975; slowfarmandfriends.com

Wasem Fruit Farm

Unfortunately, April’s extremely cold weather damaged the tart cherry trees at this Milan fruit farm, so cherry picking isn’t available this summer. However, the farm is expecting a bumper crop of black and red currants — small, tart fruits that are ideal for use in cooking or canning — and will offer u-pick starting around the second week of July. The farm also grows gooseberries, peaches, plums, and pears. Wasem Fruit Farm, 6580 Judd Road, Milan; 734-482-2342; wasemfruitfarm.com

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