U-Pick

U-Pick

We offer Blueberry, Pear and Apple U-Pick.

Field conditions and fruit ripeness change daily. PLEASE CHECK THE DAILY STATUS OF ANY U-PICK CROP BEFORE YOU COME TO THE FARM. During U-Pick season, updates are available on Facebook. Updates are also available by calling 207-239-0442. U-Pick ‘season’ does not mean the crop is available for picking on any given day, due to picking conditions; for example, very heavy picking one day may result in the next day having little to pick, while we wait for the next variety to ripen. Therefore check ahead on Facebook, or call, to avoid disappointment.

U-Pick Highbush Blueberries are available mid-July through mid-September. $4 lb. CLOSED UNTIL 2018 CROP IS READY.

Apple U-Pick August – November. $2.15 lb. CLOSED UNTIL 2018 CROP IS READY.

Pears August (early Asian pears) – September (late Asian pears, and European pears). $3.25 lb. CLOSED UNTIL 2018 CROP IS READY.

U-Pick Fruit Policies

Orchard Ridge Farm U-Pick Fruit Policies

Thank you for considering a visit to our family farm! Please also consider our U-pick fruit policies:

  • Appropriate U-Pick picking containers are available at the farm for a nominal cost.  You may also bring your own.
  • Please leave pets at home.
  • Children must be under effective supervision and control at all times. We expect adults to please model good behavior by not eating fruit (except for a small sample in order to confirm the quality) until after payment. See our ‘sampling policy’ below.

For U-Pick, please come prepared for the outdoors as needed: hat, sunscreen, bug spray, jacket, close-toed shoes.

We are pleased to offer our customers the use of a unisex bathroom at the farm, equipped with a baby changing station.

Orchard Ridge U-Pick Sampling Policy:

We are family farmers, earning our living through our farming. Our farm is not an all-you-can-eat buffet. Yes, please feel free to taste the fruit so you can pick with confidence. Because our fruit is also our livelihood, please limit yourself, and members of your party (for example, children) to a sample; you can then enjoy the rest of the fruit after payment. We also recommend that you wash your fruit before you eat it. With your help, we can continue to provide enjoyable U-Pick experiences for years to come.

Occasionally, we hear that fruit prices are too high. We do not think so, and here’s why:

  • We work hard all year to produce quality fruit, but up to half of it never makes it to the scale because it is either eaten in the field, dropped on the ground after a bite or two or left on the ground where it fell, in otherwise perfect condition
  • Farmer’s costs are higher on a diversified small Maine farm located in a high growth area such as ours, than on a large monocrop orchard way out in ‘farm country’

We have to factor these things into our pricing, and we try to offer you a fair price for the total experience. Thank you in advance for helping to keep prices down by reducing wasted fruit.

Apples

2016 apple picking is closed for the season.  See you in 2017!

We offer a pleasing spectrum of modern and antique apple varieties of distinction, worthy of your attention and perfect for fresh eating, baking, sauce, juice and storing. You can expect to find low spray, knock-your-socks-off apple varieties. We manage our apple trees for U-Pickers! All our trees bear fruit at a reasonable height so that even a toddler can pick.
2017 U-Pick apples price: $2.00 per pound.

Visit our Apples page for a complete list of varieties available

U-Pick Highbush Blueberries

Our U-Pick highbush blueberries, in approximate order of ripening, July through early September:

• Duke    • Patriot    • Draper    • Toro   •Bluecrop

•Friendship     •Bonus      • Nelson    • Liberty

2017 U-Pick highbush blueberries price: $4.69 per pound.

Raspberries

Our large and richly flavored raspberries grow on thornless canes.. They excel for fresh eating and freezing, and they are good for jam too. We grow them in our high tunnel (a kind of greenhouse) that encourages larger, higher quality berries. Our raspberry season is usually from mid-July until fall frost. Regular raspberry U-Pick updates are available on Facebook and our raspberries are also available pre-picked, in the store. 2017 U-Pick raspberry price: $6.00 per pound

Pears

Our pear orchard is young and growing.  Limited availability in 2017.

Asian Pears

Asian pears are ready to eat at harvest time, so start enjoying them right away!  Short term storage is possible in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

Kosui Asian Pear

Kosui (we are told the name means ‘Good Water’ in Japanese) has a golden brown russet-skinned fruit, firm, crisp and juicy, very sweet and a very low-acid flavor. A truly refreshing late summer treat, Kosui matures in August.

Yoinashi Asian Pear

Yoinashi is said to mean ‘Good Pear’ in Japanese. Yoinashi ripens in September and offers richly aromatic fruit that is fine-textured, juicy and sweet, with a pleasing tang.

European Pears

European pears are properly enjoyed to their rich and rewarding fullest when they are ripened by a few simple but important steps. European pears do not ripen well on the tree, and please do not expect your pears to be ready to eat unless they have been ‘prepeared’.

These are the basic rules for ripening and storing European pears:
After picking, European pears that are intended to be eaten soon are kept at 60-65ºF for one to three weeks (depending on the variety) until ripe. Ripeness is indicated by light thumb pressure at the neck readily making an indent. Be careful, because higher ripening temperatures can cause European pears to go directly to overripe. European pears intended for storage are chilled down as close to 30ºF as possible and kept that way until ripening is desired. At that point, follow the ripening procedure outlined above, but watch your pears carefully! European pears that have been properly stored for a long time will likely ripen faster than those that have been stored only a short while or not at all.

To speed up the ripening process, try placing a banana alongside ripening pears. The ethylene gas emitted by the banana will hasten the ripening process of the pear.

A properly ripened European pear is worth it! Enjoy!

Blake’s Pride European Pear

Blake’s Pride has aromatic and meltingly juicy fruit with attractive, yellow, lightly-russeted skin. Blake’s Pride is ready to pick in late August and early September. Rich, balanced sweet-tangy flavor.

Harrow Sweet European Pear

Harrow Sweet looks similar to Bartlett, with the addition of a pleasing red blush.  Juicy and sweet flesh of excellent quality. Harrow Sweet is ready to pick around mid-late September. Harrow Sweet can be stored up to two and maybe three months under the proper conditions.

Magness European Pear

Magness has greenish-brown lightly russeted skin. Magness has pleasing flesh: soft, juicy and fine textured. Magness has sweet flavor and is a pear of excellent quality. Magness is ready to pick just after Harrow Sweet, late September and into early October. Magness can be stored three months or more under the proper conditions.