Monday, July 23, 2018

Let's Go Blueberry Picking!

Situated in the heart of North Carolina's piedmont, Charlotte is ripe with pick-your-own strawberry farms and pumpkin patches. You can even find some good apple orchards nearby. Blueberries tend to grow in cooler climates, which makes them a little harder to find around here. But not impossible!
One great pick-your-own blueberry spot is Helms Christmas Tree Farm in Vale, NC, just a little over an hour west of uptown Charlotte.

The blueberry bushes, nestled between an abundance of beautiful Christmas trees, are well-established and tall, which makes picking easy for the smallest to tallest harvesters. The blueberry patch is a short, easy walk from where you park at the entrance.

Henry Helms, the friendly owner, greeted us on arrival and gave each of us a bucket, equipped with a rope handle that can be hung around your neck to free up both hands for picking (clever!). When you're done picking, just take your baskets back to the hut, where they'll bag them and take your money. Pick-your-own berries are $12 per gallon ($20 if they pick them for you).

The farm has great hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday 7 a.m.-10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.). Check the website or call (704-276-1835) for picking conditions. There are picnic tables and a porta-potty at the near the parking area.

This was a find for us. Not only was blueberry picking fun and fruitful, but we may have discovered a place to cut our own Christmas tree come December!

How to get there:
Helms Christmas Tree Farm is located at 6345 Christmas Tree Lane, Vale, NC 28168.

Don't forget to bring:
  • Shoes: Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: There's very little shade in the picking field.
  • Water: On a hot day, stay hydrated.

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