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Family-owned farm offering pick-your-own produce since 1982!
Fruit Title

Blueberries, Blackberries, Peaches, and Apples

Blueberry Image Blueberries were often called “star berries” by Native Americans because the blossom end of the fruit forms a scar in the form of a star. If you examine a Blueberry, you can see the star that is left after the bloom falls. Some people refer to Blueberries as a “super fruit” because of the many health benefits they provide. Blueberries contain only 80 calories per cup, no fat and offer anti-oxidant properties. They are native to the Unites States where over 90% of the world’s Blueberries are grown. North Carolina ranks 6th in Blueberry production.

We grow several varieties of blueberries and our favorite Rabbiteye blueberry is Premier. This NC State University cultivar arrives early, is easy to pick, and tastes sweet. Several varieties of Southern Highbush blueberries are now in cultivation. Southern Highbush is a cross between a Northern Highbush Blueberry and native Southern Blueberry. Our favorite Southern Highbush Blueberry is called O’Neil. It produces a large, sweet-berry with small seeds and ripens several weeks ahead of Premier. Picking dates for blueberries change each year and normally start in early-June and end early-August.

Blackberry image Blackberries are native to the United States and to North Carolina. Commercial breeding programs designed to produce better blackberry fruit began in the 1930’s and during the period between the 1930 and 1950 a lot of Blackberries called “dewberries” were shipped from NC to other parts of the US. Blackberries are often considered to be a gourmet or specialty fruit item, similar to raspberries. The newer blackberry varieties have a longer storage life than dewberries or the older trailing type blackberry. They have become a popular item in the produce section of the supermarket, where they sell for a premium price.

We grow three patented varieties of blackberries produced by the breeding program at the University of Arkansas. All of these varieties are named in honor of a different Native American tribe. Our varieties are Navaho, Ouachita and Natchez. Our Blackberries are sweet enough to be eaten fresh, but also make excellent pies and jellies. The Navaho variety has very small seeds and keeps well in the refrigerator. All of the varieties we sell are completely thornless. Because the fields are clean and well kept, you will not find any chiggers either! Picking dates for blackberries change each year and typically start mid-June and end in early-August.

Apple Image Apples are not easy to grow in our climate so only a few local commercial orchards exist. Last year, our three year old trees were struck with a major Fireblight outbreak. Fireblight may just kill a part of a tree but it can kill an entire tree and possibly an entire orchard. As a result, the experts advised us to let our 600 trees “rest” this year and not grow fruit. The trees should put their energy into replacing the branches injured by Fireblight and allow us to open for Pick Your Own Apples in 2016 with plenty of apples for sale.

Apple Image The spring 2015 22 degrees Fahrenheit freeze occurred during full bloom killed most of our peaches. We will have mostly pre-picked peaches for sale this summer, until Contenter (which was not damaged by the big freeze) arrives in mid-July. We grow seven varieties of peaches that ripen over a long period of time. As a general rule, the early peaches are Clingstone. The Freestone peaches start with Redhaven, followed by Fireprince , Winblow, Contender and Flameprince. The early peaches like Rich May ripen at the start of the Pick Your Own Blackberry & Blueberry season, while variety like Winblo and Contender ripen later in the Blackberry & Blueberry season.

Peaches are not native to America, but originated in China and were introduced into America during the 17 century. NC ranks about 9th in peach production nationally with most of the crop sold locally at farm stands, and Pick Your Own Farms. Many popular commercial varieties of Peaches were developed at NC State including Winblo and Contender.

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