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U-Pick Strawberries at Bob Featherstone Farm on No. 4 Road, South of Steveston Hwy

Due to the cooler and wet weather this Spring, the strawberries season is delayed this year. The usual season for u pick is middle June but this year, it only starts end of June.

We brought our visiting friend and family to the Bob Featherstone Farm on No. 4 Road, South of Steveston Hwy to pick some strawberries.  This time, the u-pick strawberry farm is located further south than the one we went in earlier years. You can check out our earlier post for other u-pick farms and recipes using strawberries.

The first thing I noticed was the price for u-pick had gone way up. It used to be $1 per pound. More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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U-Pick Apples at Apple Barn

Updated 16 Sep 2009: For those interested in u-pick apple in Richmond BC, Cherry Lane Fruit Farm is the only place I know that offers u-pick apple.  Cherry lane is located at 2511 No.4 Road (enter off Beckwith Rd. behind Costco).  Cherry Lane Fruit Farm contact number is 778-833-3379.

It is more important to blog about apples now because this topic is time sensitive, you see. So, I am taking a one day intermission from the Atlanta series to blog about the apple season starting about this time of the year.

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We know of a U-Pick in Abbotsford called Apple Barn. They have a website at http://applebarn.ca. The apple picking seasons started on Saturday last week and will last until mid to late October. If you had not experience picking your own apples before, you should plan to make your way there. It is great fun.

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When we were there last weekend, only the Gala apples were opened for picking. Most of the other varieties will be available for picking starting next weekend. This was OK since my favourite apple is Gala anyway.

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Since this was the first week and only Gala was available, there were not many people during this weekend. I think it would get a lot more busier starting next week. A few close family friends of ours went there early (the orchard opens at 10AM last weekend) and had practically the entire orchard to ourselves.

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For the Gala apples, it costs … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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Blackberry Shrubs

There is a bumper crop of blackberries this year in Vancouver. This has been brought about by lots of rain in June followed by hot, dry weather after, creating ideal condition.

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Blackberry shrubs are found all over the lower mainland — roadsides, fence lines, stream banks, railway tracks — and they grow just about anywhere.

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I bike to work on most days in summer. Along the bike route there are also a lot of blackberry shrubs. These shrubs I find along the route are largely untouched because unless you are on the route you will not know they are there.

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There are two spots that I find a lot of unpicked blackberry shrubs. The first is the Kent Bike Route near Ontario St in Vancouver. The shrubs is parallel to the railway tracks. If you walk over to the side on the railway, you get even more blackberries.

The other secret spot is the shrubs under the Oak St Bridge in Richmond (see picture below). If you bike between Richmond and Vancouver across the Oak St Bridge, you will see the untouched shrubs.

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If you drive, you can turn off Hwy 99 north bound just before getting on the bridge. Drive round under the bridge and you’ll see them shrubs. (Polly, you should check this out on this Google Map. Amanda and Anna would love this)

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The blackberries are at various stages of ripening. The pictures here were taken about 4 days ago. I think by now there are even more ripe ones.

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One thing though, the blackberry shrubs are very hardy plants and have very sharp spines. If you really want to pick a lot of them, you bring something to cut the long stems and wear gloves so that you don’t get cut by the sharp thorns. You just need to cut away a few stems and you’ll be able to get to the better ones in the middle of the shrub.

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U-Pick Blueberries

Updated on 29th July 2012

Click here for a list of organic blueberry farms in BC.

Updated on 8 August 2009

This year’s blueberries price is right for comsuners as supply outstrips demand.  The following are blueberry farm sales extracted from the Richmond Review and other source:

Farm Address Phone Notes
Bakshi BlueberryFarm 9431 No. 6 Rd. 604-275-9163 gate sales and U-Pick
Blueberry Lane 7000 No. 5 Rd. 604-273-6871 gate sales
Fishers Blueberry Farm 9311 No. 6 Rd. 604-916-6401 gate sales
DFG Organic Blueberries 11071 Blundell Rd. 604-273-5829 Open weekends for U-Pick only
No. 5 Blueberry Farm 7040 No. 5 Rd 604-303-8733 gate sales and U-Pick
KNN Blueberry Farms 11590 Granville Ave. 604-781-9993 gate sales and U-Pick
Birak Berry Farms 6311 No. 5 Rd., 3600 No. 6 Rd., 9111 No. 6 Rd. 604-328-9269 gate sales and U-Pick
Birak Berry Farms No. 4 Rd & Francis gate sales and U-Pick
Canwest Farms Ltd Blundell and Sidaway (look for red barn) 604-244-0488 gate sales
Sandhu’s Farm (Cal-San Berries) 12791 Blundell Rd. 604-715-6644 gate sales
Driediger Farms 7361 240 Street, Langley 604-888-1685 U-Pick

Polly invited us to the U-Pick Blueberries last weekend. We have never been to pick blueberries before and never knew where the U-Picks were; even though there are a lot of blueberry farms all over Richmond.

Polly found one on 11071 Blundell Rd. Coincidentally the owner of the farm were from Malaysia too. We found it spooky when another customer in the farm on that day were also from Malaysia. You can always spot a Malaysian accent with their unique version of English — I call it Manglish!

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This farm does not sell blueberries at all because he apparently had a lot of orders. He told us that he had already orders for batches of 50lbs or 100lbs that he can hardly fulfill!

Blueberries are native to North America and Eastern Asia. They grow on shrubs as high as 8 ft tall. The blueberry season typically runs from May to October every year.

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The fruit are pale-greenish at first, then turns redish-purple before ripening and turning blue or dark purple.

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The blueberries in this farm are organic. The organic blueberries costs … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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Kelowna Trip Report: Picking Cherries

The highlight of our trip to Kelowna is picking cherries. On the first day we were there we went to a cherry farm on Westbank. We had been to this farm before but were pleasantly surprised at the abundance newly ripe cherries on the trees.

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Picking cherries is simple. You need to pick it with the stems on. This will keep the cherries fresh longer. The man in charge of the farm showed us how best to pick cherries — basically, you push the stem up and snap off the stem.

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The cherries in the Westbank farm is free of pesticides but is a bit small compared to larger ones we see in the stores. They a bit soft and not crunchy.

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You really need to climb ladders to get to the better fruit. The lower ones were gone very fast. We need to make sure that the ladder is stable. In all, we picked about 11 lbs of cherries from the Westbank farm. Each lb costs $1.25.

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On the second day, we drive south of Kelowna to the end of Lakeshore Rd. There are a few popular farms there. These u-pick farms are more organized and the cherries were a class better than the ones in Westbank — they are bigger and crunchier. However, this farm uses pesticides.

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The cherries in this farm is a bit more expensive at $1.50 per pound. We picked more this time — 15 pounds. Ha ha ha … it was so easy to pick but not we have to figure out how to eat all 26 pounds of cherries! :-)

There was this family we saw who picked 82 lbs! So, 26 lbs is not so bad after all, right?

Suanne is looking a recipes to make use of the cherries. She’ll blog about it the next few days. At the meantime, do you have any idea what we can do with so much cherries?

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Here is a few shots around Kelowna we took. We had a good time just walking along the park and seawall.

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“The Sails” is the centre point of Kelowna.

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The seawall walk is very well maintained and very beautiful. Green on one side and blue water on the other.

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We also saw some upscale apartments along the lake. Instead of a cars parked in front of the apartments, they have boats instead.

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We also went up Knox Mountain which overlooked the entire Kelowna valley. It was a beautiful sight as we just sat and waited till the sun goes down.

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U-Pick Strawberries

June is the season for strawberries in Vancouver. Nothing beats freshly picked strawberries from the farm. Arkensen loves strawberries and who can resist such sweet and juicy berries.

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Strawberry is small plant of the rose family. Strawberries are not really “berries” or fruit in the botanical sense. The real fruit of the strawberry is the strawberry seeds on the outside of the strawberry or properly called “achenes”. The berry is actually the enlarged receptacle and is not reproductive material. That’s why strawberry has to be picked at full ripeness because they cant ripen once picked.

We live very near to some farm lands and the sign for U-Pick Strawberries was up last week.

Here is a list of U-Pick Strawberries farms in Richmond and other parts of Lower Mainland:

Farm Address Phone Notes
G.J. Farms 11300 No.4 Road 604-272-4033
Bob Featherstone Farm #4 Road south of Steveston Hwy 604-594-9518
W&A Farms 17771 Westminster Hwy 604-278-5667 www.wafarms.ca
Birak Berry Farm 4200 No. 6 Road 604-339-9335 bcstrawberries.com
Krause Berry Farm 6179 248 St. Langley 604-856-5757 http://krauseberryfarms.com
Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association www.bcstrawberries.com

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The U-Pick farm was opened on last Saturday. I went there around 10:00 a.m. and there were a crowd already.

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The strawberries here are smaller but much sweeter than those imported from the United States which are commonly found in the groceries stores. Moreover, the labour of picking the berries makes them much sweeter.

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I picked a full bucket of strawberries that morning.

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It only costs … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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