It’s officially growing season in the Yakima community as the days start to get warmer and nature becomes vibrant with colors of life once again. With it comes a fresh batch of crops and produce that will eventually be ripe for the harvest, allowing the community to participate in one of their favorite seasonal pastimes, fruit picking! After all, the only thing better than eating a fresh, juicy piece of fruit is enjoying one you’ve picked for yourself. Lucky for those living or visiting Yakima, there are plenty of local farms and orchards inviting the public to come pickin’ with them this upcoming growing season.
West Valley U-Pick Fruit and Vegetables
11901 Zier Rd, Yakima
Opening in late June and running until early October is West Valley U-Pick Fruit and Vegetables. Both kid and pet friendly, they offer a wide variety of all-natural u-pick fruit and vegetables. Each year they have cheery picking in late June and early July, blueberries in mid-July, plums, peaches, and pluots in early August, followed by apples and pears in mid-August. For veggies, they have tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, tomatillos, cucumber, and of course, pumpkins for those jack-o-lanterns come the fall season. Before leaving, don’t forget to stop by their old-fashioned hand-cranked cider press to press your own cider!
Ahtanum Berry Patch
2811 S. 74th Ave, Yakima
Summer means plenty of U-Pick events and farm tours for Ahtanum Berry Patch. Ahtanum Berry Patch is a 5th generation farm where visitors enjoy a year-round bakery, fresh berries, and produce during the growing season. Every year their farm produces a wide variety of thornless blackberries, red, gold, and black raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and gooseberries. All their berries are picked at the peak of ripeness for unbeatable flavor. Some are then used and paired with wholesome natural ingredients to create delicious bakery items for their bakeshop. If you can’t make it out to the patch itself, their products can also be found at farmers markets in Roslyn, Ellensburg, Kennewick, and Yakima.
Cowiche Creek U-Pick Blueberry Farm
500 Dahl Rd, Yakima
Blueberry season for Cowiche Creek U-Pick Blueberry Farm runs from June to September, with the option of U-pick blueberries being offered for the first time this year as a new experience for locals on the farm. Their nursery was established in 1989 after a hobby began to take over their lives, and they’ve been a growing business ever since. Eventually, blueberries were added to the mix, grown organically on their farm in the Naches Heights area. Currently, they offer five different varieties of blueberries that harvest at different times throughout the summer, and they are excited to add the U-pick option this growing season!
3803 Old Naches Hwy, Yakima
Also offering the option of U-pick blueberries to the Yakima community is Sloop Orchards. Their blueberry season usually starts about the last week of June and runs for about four weeks. They grow both Duke and Toro varieties at the orchard. The Toro variety ripens about seven to ten days later than the Duke variety, as the Duke variety is the leading early-ripening blueberry variety in the Pacific Northwest. Remember to bring your own container to take the berries home with you!
1209 Pecks Canyon Road, Yakima
With spring comes the option of U-pick cherries for those who plan ahead with Barrett Orchards and their Washington Fruit Place and Gift Shop. Owners Mark and Cheryl Barrett run this sixth-generation farm that also harvests apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, and pears besides the cherries. Their cherries and other produce can be found at the “red barn” in Yakima for sale for those who forget to plan ahead for cherry-picking.
Of course, you don’t have to pick your own fruit this growing season to enjoy it. There are plenty of other orchards and farms in the Yakima community that pick it for you, all you have to do is pick it up! Places like Johnson Orchards, Mcilrath Family Farms, and Downtown Yakima Farmers Market are also geared up for this year’s growing season, ready to produce fresh, local produce for all of the Yakima community to enjoy!