We love spending time outdoors and we love fresh fruit, so we were sure that we would really enjoy picking our own fruit on Whitley Farms in Sharpsburg. We have often seen the brightly colored signs around Thomas Crossroads featuring large berries with arrows pointing the way, but had never been to this farm tucked away off a side road of Lower Fayetteville.
Whitley Farms is a local, family owned operation that grows a large variety of fruits and vegetables using sustainable, pesticide free methods. They sell their produce from a cute wooden stand and also offer their yields through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program.
Looking around the stand at all the plump berries, we couldn’t wait to get out in the fields and fill our buckets.
You can pick as many berries as you like and pay by the pound.
The blueberry bushes and blackberry canes were drooping with tons of juicy berries. More than half of them were ripe.
The plants are set up in neat rows with wide spaces between that make the fruit very accessible.
We found moving down the rows in the warm sunshine filling our baskets with berries a very peaceful experience. The open fields create a light breeze, and there is a rhythm in harvesting fruit that is calming.
Although Whitley Farms uses no pesticides on their crops, we saw very few bugs.
Our only blackberry picking experiences before this were of harvesting wild blackberries from the woods. Picking them on a farm is a very different experience without the sweat, blood and general trauma that comes from hiking into a thicket of wild blackberry canes.
We saw several children having fun trying learning to identify the ripe fruit and making a contest of finding the biggest berries.
As we dreamed about running away from home to become farm workers harvesting fruit outside all day, we realized we had filled our buckets. Back at the stand, we stocked up on fresh vegetables and fruits.
We love the taste of locally grown produce and had a hard time limiting our purchases. They also make jams, jellies and sauces and have honey from local hives.
Our favorite way to eat berries is raw with plenty of whipped cream. We ate an embarrassing amount of blueberries and blackberries with cream.
We still have plenty of berries left, but will definitely go back to pick as long as they are in season. We recommend that you wear sunscreen and bring a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun from your face. Whitley farms offer frequent specials and discounts off produce, so be sure to follow their Facebook page to keep up.