3 U-Pick Tips for your Next Michigan Harvest

What does U-Pick mean?

Have you U-picked yet? True to its name, u-pick means a farm allows guests to do the harvesting on a select part of their fields. It’s a fantastic activity for all ages, fostering a deep connection with the food you pick. From raspberries to apples, and even unique saskatoons, u-pick farms allows visitors to ‘cherry-pick’ the best of the bunch! 

So what should you know before heading to your closest U-pick farm? Read below!

A bucket of blueberries lies in the grass with pink unripe blueberries on a bush in the foreground at Buchan's Blueberry Hill in Traverse City.
Blueberry U-Pick at Buchan’s Blueberry Hill

1) Stay Informed about Seasonality

Knowing what’s in season is key to planning your U-Pick adventure. As you probably know, Michigan strawberries aren’t available in September, and pumpkins aren’t ready for picking in June! For a general guide to what’s in season, check out our Seasonality Guide. Michigan weather is unpredictable, so follow specific farms on social media for updates on when your favorite items are available! 

2) Come Prepared for the Day

To make the most of your U-Pick experience, dress appropriately for the weather and the occasion. Before you go out in the field, put on sun protection with a brimmed hat and sunscreen. In the car, bring containers for your harvest, in case the stand is ‘BYOB’ (bring your own bucket!) Additionally, if you’re picking flowers, it’s a good idea to bring your own clippers, as those have a tendency to travel, even in well-stocked locations. Lastly, if you know you’ll be on the move, bring a cooler and ice packs to keep your produce fresh until you make it back home. 

3) Plan for Your Picked Bounty

Do you know what to do with your perfect picks? If you’re planning to do more than just snack, head to our Recipes to find a new way to improve on locally-grown perfection! Hint: if you make pie dough ahead of time, you could have a sweet end to your u-pick day! If you can’t eat everything you pick, plan to clean, process, and freeze them for future use! 

Find your closest Michigan U-pick farm! 

Embark on your U-Pick adventure by exploring the links below for our Michigan U-Pick partners: 

Claire Butler is the Content Strategy Specialist for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected].

Further Reading: