U-Pick

U-Pick Fruit

We offer Blueberry, Pear and Apple U-Pick fruit.

Field conditions and fruit ripeness change daily. PLEASE CHECK THE DAILY STATUS OF ANY U-PICK CROP BEFORE YOU COME TO THE FARM. During the U-Pick fruit season, regular 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, there may be times when one variety of apple is picked out, and the next ripening varieties may not quite yet be ready. Therefore check ahead on Facebook, or call, to avoid disappointment.

2020 Prices, and typical seasonal timeframes for our U-Pick crops:

2020 U-Pick High bush Blueberries (mid July – late August, $4.99/lb): CLOSED.

2020 Apple U-Pick (August – November, $2.39/lb): CLOSED.

2020 European pears (mid September – October, $3.30/lb): CLOSED.

2020 Asian pears (September, $3.30/lb): CLOSED.

U-Pick FAQ

Q: May we eat fruit before we pay?

A: Thank you for considering a visit to our family farm! We work hard, even years ahead, to bring about each year’s harvest of fruit. Our farm is our family home and our private property, our crops are our livelihood, and we sell our fruit by the pound. The business of farming is very expensive. We therefore ask you to sample only a few fruit, so that you know it is good. Please wait until after you pay to enjoy the rest. If your plan is to feast in the field while picking, please instead visit a farm that offers that option.

 

Q: Do you supply containers for picking?

A: U-Pick picking containers (bags for apples and pears, and boxes for blueberries) are available at the farm for a nominal cost.  You may also bring your own, but keep in mind that they will have to be readily weighed on our checkout scale.

 

Q: May we bring our pet dog?

A: Please leave pets at home. That is the official, FDA-mandated answer. All hail the beaurocrat kings!

 

Q: May we climb the trees? May we teeter on each other’s shoulders in order to grab the highest fruit? Do you mind if we enjoy fruit fights on your property? Are you farmers happy when we gorge on blueberries while in the field, even though we haven’t yet paid for them… or when everyone picks one or two huge, perfect to apples to taste, takes a bite or two and tosses it to the ground? Is it fine to pick carelessly, bumping lots of excellent fruit onto the ground and leaving it there to rot? May our children run around uncontrolled? While on your farm, may we take a hiatus from parenting?

A: Oy vey.

 

Q: What is ripe and ready to pick, and when?

A: For day-to-day status of our blueberries, apples and pears, check our Facebook page or call; you can also find out by taking a risk by visiting the farm during our regular farm market hours… the worst case would be that while we might be closed for picking that day, we would still have tasty treats and you could still visit the animals.

 

Q. What about farm animals?

A. We have friendly goats you can pet and feed (25 cents per crank at the feeder dispenser) plus at least some of the following for you to see: chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and pigs.

 

Q: What about biting insects?

A: While entomophagy is becoming popular in some circles, we do not formally offer U-Pick bugs here at Orchard Ridge. Now as far as them biting you: Our location is open and breezy and often sees relatively low levels of those critters.  But we suggest that you come prepared for the outdoors as needed: hat, sunscreen, bug spray, jacket, close-toed shoes.

 

Q. Do you have a bathroom?

A. We are pleased to offer our customers a nice bathroom, even equipped with a baby changing station.

Apples

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.

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

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 ( four-seven days) 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.