girl in overalls picking blueberries

Weekend Blues

Ever After Blueberry Farm – Mims, Florida

All Photos By: Kelsey Walters

To me, nothing announces the arrival of warm weather more than fresh fruit, and what better way to get that produce to your table than to pick it yourself?

Blueberry Picking Season Opens April

Being well into spring with summer rapidly approaching, Floridians have been getting our share of warmth for a while now. Thanks to a strange weather pattern of an unusually cold January followed by a strangely warm February with a few cold snaps mixed into March, this season’s fresh blueberries are prime for picking and extra sweet and juicy!

Farm to Table Blueberries

While there are plenty of places all over the state to pick all kinds of fruit throughout the seasons, we have one close by in Mims that has a lot to offer. Not only are there tons of blueberries at Ever After Farms, 33,000 bushes to be exact, that are just begging to be plucked from the leaves, there are other fun activities for the whole family as well.

Day Trip for Volusia County Residents

Ever After is a quiet drive out to the sleepy farming town of Mims, about 45 minutes away in Brevard County. After entering the gates to the farm, a long dirt road leads you around the huge field of countless bushes, giving you the chance to stake out the perfect picking spot. You can grab as many bags as you’d like to fill with the ripe berries from the helpful staff under the shade of the huge barn they also host weddings in. When you’re ready to head into the field, it’s easy to find the berry that’s best for you.

What will you use your berries for?

Each row of bushes is color-coded with a painted PVC pipe in the ground at the beginning of the row. Blue rows are the sweetest variety of berries. They are best straight from the plant because of their sweetness but should be consumed quickly or frozen if you plan to grab a lot of them. Their low acidity maximizes the sweet flavor but decreases the time they will be viable. 

Yellow and green rows are more of a sweet-tart variety and are perfect for pies or other recipes that call for sugar to be added. Their touch of tart flavor will be highlighted by the sugar and won’t overpower your recipe with sweetness. Their higher acidity levels allow them to stick around longer, as well.

What to Know Before You Go:

At just five dollars per pound, you can fill your bags with as many berries as you’d like, which are helpfully marked with lines designating approximate pounds. A full bag is around four pounds of berries. 

My husband, Scott, and I took our two-month-old daughter, Avery, for her first Florida or Bust outing on a perfectly breezy, overcast day. If you plan to go picking on a hot, sunny day, it is recommended that you lather up with sunscreen or keep the little ones at home between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is beating down on the open fields. It doesn’t hurt to have the essential floppy hat either. 

The rows are spaced apart enough to allow wheelchair and stroller access (score!) so no one is ever excluded from the picking. Even dogs are welcome! We spotted an especially cute pup happily scooping up the fallen berries from below the bushes. In years past, most of the blueberries were too high on the plants for little hands to reach.

Fun for All Ages

Ever After wanted to make sure everyone had the chance to pick the perfect berry. “We worked with blueberry agricultural experts to find a way to maintain high yields while allowing kids to reach the best berries and we’re proud to announce that it worked,” explained farm manager, Jenny Cahoon. Now the biggest, juiciest berries are in reach of even the tiniest hands. 

After picking, you can take a relaxing, tractor-pulled hayride around the farm or meet the Clydesdale horses. 

Blueberry Season April 10 through June

The picking season opened April 10 and will continue (blueberries permitting) until the first or second week of June, so I highly recommend getting to the farm while the picking’s good!

If you plan on making a day of your trip and having your selection in your car or out in the heat for a while, I suggest either bringing a cooler or another method of transporting your berries so they can breathe.

After a couple hours in the plastic bags, our berries began to sweat. We took home a pound of each variety after about an hour of picking, plus a little lunch break for Avery beneath the shade of the massive live oak that also serves as a picturesque wedding venue on weekends.

We used our sweetest berries that night to make a favorite in our household – breakfast for dinner, and stuffed homemade waffles with ripe berries bursting with flavor. I had lofty plans of a variety of blueberry desserts for our sweet-tart variety, but they were so tasty that we ended up eating them all before I could make it to the store for ingredients. 

Looks like it’s time to go back and pick a few more pounds… see you there! 

Ever After Farms U-Pick Blueberry Farm

4400 Bouganvilla Drive, Mims, FL 32754

(321) 269-9502 // EverAfterFarms.com

Open Tue. – Sun.: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Mondays

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