• Where to Go Berry Picking Near Hudson County

    Written by:

    For those who need something fun and different to do on the weekends, picking your own fresh and seasonal fruit is always a berry good idea {had to}. It’s a great activity for both grown-ups and kids alike {though we can say with certainty that your little ones, in particular, will love roaming the fields in search of the perfectly ripened fruit}. And with fresh fruit farms as close as an hour-long drive away, now’s the time to stock up on berries for smoothies, pies, that morning açai bowl, and so much more {you can even get a little crazy and throw a few berries in your Sunday brunch champagne for some added fu}.

    Now that lavender is just about out of season, early to mid-August is prime-time for delicious fruits like blueberries and blackberries. If you’re lucky enough, the same fields that house yummy berry bushes might also have other fruits ripe and ready to go, like peaches. Read on to find out where to go berry picking near Hudson County + the berries currently in season.

    berries hudson county

    The Benefits of Eating Locally {And In Season}

    Many have undoubtedly heard it before — eat locally, eat seasonally. But for those wondering why, there are many reasons why eating locally is better for both personal health and for the environment. Here are just a few:

    • It reduces the need for “extra” resources {water, shipping costs/equipment}
    • It supports the local economy {money goes directly to the people growing it rather than small percentages of different hands involved in moving and shipping it}
    • There is a higher nutrient count
    • It encourages more biodiversity
    • Eating locally + seasonally often contains fewer chemicals {even if it’s not organic}

    As mentioned above, locally-grown, in-season produce generally has a higher nutrient count. As a general rule, local foods are fresher. Think about it: They’re grown nearby, so farmers don’t need to pack, ship, or freeze them around the country in order to get where they’re going. All those processes tend to reduce a food’s nutrients.

    See More: Your Guide to a Summer Vermont Trip

    The Health Benefits of Eating Berries

    In addition to using local berry-picking as a way to give back to the local economy, there are also so many amazing health benefits of eating berries. Blueberries, for example, are a superfood. According to Healthline, these tiny berries are low in calories but high in nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Blueberries are also an antioxidant — with the super ability to actually increase the antioxidant levels in the body.
    Strawberries may be currently out-of-season {they peak mid-summer around June and early-July} but they still contain many health benefits worth noting here. {Keep strawbs in mind for picking next summer.} One cup of strawberries contains the daily minimum of vitamin C and can help fight against diseases and signs of aging. {Focus on your anti-aging skincare routine from the inside-out.} According to Health, the amount of vitamin C in strawberries is responsible for producing collagen, which keeps your hair, skin, and nails looking young, healthy, and clear.
    black berries farms

    As for blackberries, these high-in-fiber berries are beneficial to our health, too. Blackberries are also sufficient in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, making them crucial to improving brain health and function, preventing oral disease and infection, healing wounds, regenerating the skin and encouraging collagen production, and so much more.

    With both blueberries and blackberries super high in fiber, you might be wondering why fiber matters so much to our health. A 2013 study determined that not getting enough fiber increases a person’s risk for developing heart disease. One cup of berries has about eight grams of fiber. Not sure how much fiber you should be getting to begin with? Fiber intake has a lot to do with different factors like age, sex, and weight but as a general rule, women should have an intake of at least 25 grams and men should get about 38 grams of fiber per day.

    See More: Your Guide to Pumpkin and Apple Picking in North Jersey

    Strawberry, Blueberry, + Blackberry Fields Near Hudson County

    Now that we’ve established the many benefits of berries {and eating locally and seasonally}, find out which fields and farms near Hudson County offer blueberry and blackberry picking this time of year.

    Greig Farm {227 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, NY}

    grieg farm berries

    {Photo credit: @greig_farm}

    Located around two hours outside of Hoboken, Greig Farms in Red Hook, NY is open for blueberry-picking seven days a week from 8:00AM-8:00PM. Also at Greig Farms in the Hudson Valley, you’ll find a Farm Market, open daily from 9:00AM- 7:00PM — which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and has… *drumroll, please*… goats.

    Right now in the fields, visitors will find blueberries and blackberries. When it’s strawberry season, you’ll also find those too.

    We’ll be the first to admit it is a bit of a trek, so if for those who would rather make it a weekend-long vacation, that’s also an option. Greig also features an on-site Farmhouse Airbnb. Booking the Airbnb, which features two spare bedrooms, comes with a complimentary breakfast at the market.

    Hillview Farms {223 Meyersville Road, Gillette, NJ}

    hillview farms berries

    A mere 45-minute drive outside of Hoboken and Jersey City, you’ll stumble upon Hillview Farms in Gillette, NJ. There you’ll have over 53-acres of locally grown fruit to peruse. According to Hillview’s schedule, they have blueberries ready-and-willing to be picked from July. In August, the farm might already be transitioning to peaches, but it’s worth calling ahead to check out their current supply.

    Hillview has a Farm Market open every day from 9:00AM-6:00PM, where it sells everything from fresh broccoli and potatoes to honey, tomatoes, and zinnia. The public picking fields close each day at 5:00PM, so plan accordingly.

    You can also purchase firewood at Hillview. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    Alstede Farms {1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ}

    alsteade farms

    {Photo credit: @alstedefarms}

    This fruit-picking farm in Chester, New Jersey is just about an hour away from Jersey City and the Mile Square. And wow, is it worth the ride. Alstede’s fields are open daily to the public and it’s the perfect time to pick-your-own juicy blueberries and blackberries. {Strawberries are also available at this farm when in season.}

    Included with field admission is access to Alstede’s sunflower and evergreen adventure maze— a fun and interactive adventure in addition to berry-picking that both adults and children will love

    Read More: 5 Wineries to Visit Within 2 Hours of Hudson County

    Ochs Orchard {4 Ochs Lane, Warwick, NY}

    ochs orchard berries

    {Photo credit: @ochsorchard1591}

    About an hour and a half out of the city, there’s Ochs Orchard in Warwick, New York. While Och always recommends calling ahead of time to see what pickable produce they have available — {everything is subject to availability, after all} — they generally have an abundance of plums, peaches, and blueberries this time of year. {Strawberries are also available on-site during strawberry season.}

    Guests over the age of three must pay a $5 fee to frolic through the fields and pick their own fruit. Once you pick $4 worth of fruit, that $4 of the $5 fee gets refunded back to you toward your purchase.

    What’s your favorite recipe that incorporates blueberries and/or blackberries? Let us know in the comments! 

    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *