It’s definitely that pick-your-own time of year. Beck Brothers is one of Central Florida’s well-known u-pick blueberry patches. I tried to get out there for the last couple of weeks, and I finally took a vacation day yesterday after listening to my friends talk about all of the trips they’ve made to Beck’s in just the last two weeks. I was jealous, too, when they talked about the blueberry tarts and muffins they all made with the freshly picked, plump berries.
I did learn from some of the folks who were working at the patch yesterday that part of it is designated as u-pick and the rest belongs to Beck’s commercial enterprises (they are primarily citrus growers). It’s an impressive enterprise, and the blueberry patch—fields really—seem to go on forever. It’s a remarkable sight. One more thing: the berries are not organic. Beck’s sprays once before the flowers bloom and not at all after.
How It Works at Beck’s
Beck’s provides pint containers, clam shells, and buckets to hold the picked berries. I used two buckets, and I filled each to the brim. The bushes are all filled with ripe and young berries, but I found the best berries by working the middle to ends of the rows beginning about ten rows back from the front. Not too many people were picking this far out. The bushes were filled with berries, more than enough for me to fill two buckets rather quickly. (I did sample several berries, too.)
Yesterday was a week day, and Beck’s was fairly crowded. I was told that Beck’s has two people directing traffic on weekends so that they can adequately park everyone. They recommended that we return on a weekday if we planned to pick more berries. There were many families and couples picking berries; many young kids were picking berries with their moms. I’d like to return and take my grand kids, but I’m afraid my grandson, who loves to run off, will find great places to hide in the vast fields. I’m not sure I’m up for the challenge, but I’m sure I’ll take them anyway. I never learn.
Prices are based on the container sizes and the number of containers that you fill. Even if you don’t fill the container, Beck’s will pour the berries into the containers and charge accordingly. Prices as of 28 April 2014:
- Bucket (6 pounds), $15
- Clamshell (3 1/2 pounds), $10
- Pint, $3
Beck’s is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. Week days are not overly crowded; expect to wait for parking on weekends. Blueberry season runs until about the middle of May.
Beck Brothers is a large farm, but don’t drive out in the country looking for it. It’s surrounded by a new subdivision, and the road leading up to the farm is slightly hidden and extremely narrow. Program Beck’s address in your GPS:Beck Brothers Blueberries 12500 Overstreet Road Windermere, FL 34786 (407) 656-4353 firstname.lastname@example.org