Tennessee blackberries

As the strawberry season ends, Tennessee has plenty of blueberries and blackberries available for picking during summer months.

“Our berry plants are loaded with fruit this season,” Connie Massey of Circle S Farms in Lebanon said. “Our blueberries are in full swing with lots of ripe berries for picking. We expect blackberries to ripen around the first week of July.”

Farmers in some areas of the state say blackberries and blueberries are coming into season later this year. Visitors should call ahead to check availability and to find out if the farm allows a person to pick berries or if someone picks for the customer.

Visitors who pick their own should bring water to stay hydrated since blueberries and blackberries can take time to pick. Berries do not ripen after picking, so select berries that are fully ripe and pull free easily.

“We expect to have blueberries the first or second week of July,” Chris Plemons of Sweet River Berry Farm in Charleston said. “Be sure to watch our Facebook page for updates on berry availability.”

Berries are easy to freeze and use later. Many recipes incorporate frozen fruits, allowing area residents to enjoy their harvest well past peak growing season. Fresh or frozen, the Pick Tennessee Products website features recipes for berries.

Two can be found here: www.picktnproducts.org/find-prod ucts/recipes/desserts/des serts/blackberry-cheesecake-ice-cream.html and www.picktn products.org/find-products/rec ipes/desserts/desserts/lemon-blueberry-pie.html

When friends and relatives come to visit this summer, consider on-farm activities like sunflower festivals, making soap or taking an art class to create great memories in a relaxed setting. Many agritourism farms have shelters for picnics, playgrounds and areas for all ages to explore.

Each season brings something new to Tennessee’s farms. Visit throughout the year to experience all the farms have to offer.

Interested parties can visit www.PickTNProducts.org or go on the free Pick Tennessee mobile app. Follow @PickTN Products on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for highlights on products, local farms and activities.

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