U-pick for Fall

Picking your own fruits can be a great way to get out of town for fall. You might remember how this summer I jumped on the u-pick bandwagon when I went blueberry picking. Here’s my suggestions for picking your own fruits this fall.

1. Find out what’s in season

It’s a little hard to go blueberry picking this time of year. In October, we’re right on the cusp between apple picking and pumpkin picking.

Fresh

2. Find out what’s nearby

Before I went berry picking, I visited pickyourown.org. The site is a little basic but it is the best database I’ve found of all the u-pick locations. Consider looking anywhere within a day’s drive and making it into a weekend trip if you’re in a city.

3. Research your top picks

I like to use Yelp to check out the farms I find before going to them. The Consumerist recently featured a customer going to orchards for apple picking only to find inflated prices and orchard entry-fees. Don’t go in unprepared.

Pumpkin Patch 100_9296

4. Consider making a trip of it.

Sure, you can just drive out to the countryside and pick yourself some fruit but why not take advantage of fall and make it a weekend? Fall is the perfect time to go on a drive to look at fall leaves, visit a winery, or enjoy a little camping with the whole family.

5. Make something wonderful

With all the fruit you pick, make sure you have the resources at home to enjoy it. Consider picking up canning supplies or pick out your favorite recipes to eat with fresh ingredients. I’m a big fan of pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin butter but also apple muffins and apple butter.

Here’s How I’d Do It

Eckerts Orchard

Based on the first 3 steps, I’ve found Eckert’s to be the best choice for St. Louis. They’re about half an hour outside downtown St. Louis, they have the seasonal pumpkin and apple crops, and amazing reviews. Eckert’s has 3 U-Pick locations in the St. Louis metro area, though the Belleville location seemed to interest me the most. They have a country store, plants, a restaurant and custard shop, plus bounce houses and animal rides for kids.

Photo Credit: Skyview Drive In

Since I’d be staying in Belleville, Illinois, I’d first check the city’s calendar for anything fun to do while I stay nearby. It looks like October 7 there’ll be a chili cook-off and October 8 there’ll be a downtown market and historical walk through the city. There’s also a drive-in theater in Belleville, a perfect way to rest after a day picking. This is the last weekend of the drive-in’s season. On Screen 2 they offer a double feature of The Last House on the Left and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre while on Screen 1 they’ll be offering Friday the 13th, Saw, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’d probably stay at a B&B in town (Find Hot Deals on BedandBreakfast.com) and eat at the town’s only wine bar.

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Author:julie

I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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