Pick Your Own Blueberries at Blueberry Bay Farm
Imagine picking your own blueberries on a Farm of Distinction (2005) within yards of Great Bay Estuary. No doubt cool summer breezes make for a better product, much as in a vineyard.
Ron and Lois Laurence are in their 11th year of retirement at Blueberry Bay Farm in Stratham. Ron is probably working harder as a farmer than at his former job as president of a valve manufacturing company.
Starting on July 4th weekend, the farm opens for blueberry picking. Three acres are devoted to luscious high-bush blueberries that are grown as naturally as possible. Ron uses Integrative Pest Management to lure insects away from the plants rather than trying a direct hit with chemicals. This kinder and more safe method also allows natural predators to thrive too. They depend on you to pick the berries before the birds get them.
Also find about 30 varieties of vegetables grown as naturally as possible, in addition to peaches, pears and other berries, including raspberries and strawberries. Ron offers heirloom and sauce tomatoes, lettuce, kale, spinach, beets, peppers, scallions and more. In addition, find Asian, Italian and red and white striped eggplant.
All their berries and produce is U-pick for the freshest possible product. To make it easy, picking directions are posted next to each crop and many of the crops are planted in raised beds. Ron says he doesn’t bother with U-pick pumpkins, but does grow them for Throwback and Portsmouth breweries for their pumpkin ales.
Check their website for what is ripe for picking as seasonality can vary. They are open in summer seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the remaining days 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.