Agriculture is Mississippi’s number one industry, according to Farm Families of Mississippi. “Missisippi boasts over 42,000 farms covering over 11 million acres of farmed land,” states growingmississippi.org. Essentially this confirms that farming in The Magnolia State is serious business. Like the famous juke joints and deep Southern values Mississippi is known for, Pick-Your-Own farms here boast personality. Here are 6 of the many from which to choose.
1. Blue Tara Organic Blueberry Farm
As Mississippi’s first certified organic farm, this place takes farming seriously. Named in honor of the owners’ love for the movie Gone With the Wind (family pets are named Scarlett, Rett Butler, Prissy, Tara, Runt, Dr. Mead and Ashley), Blue Tara is all about blueberries. Pick your own or buy them already picked.
Cost: $10 per gallon
Information: (601) 403-TARA; www.pickaberry.com
2. Brownlee Farms
Where: Red Banks
The picking season here is twofold: strawberries in the spring and pumpkins in the fall. As the second largest strawberry farm in the state, Brownlee offers picking in early April for about 6 weeks and hosts the Mississippi Strawberry Festival in early April. Come fall, it’s all about harvest fun with hayrides, a corn maze and pumpkin picking.
Cost: Fall admission is $8 a person, which includes one pumpkin. Call for strawberry picking fees.
Hours: Spring hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekends, opening March 15. Fall: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday
Information: (901) 494-3209; www.brownleefarms.com
3. Dannemann Farm
The 5-acre farm offers 3 blueberry varieties to pick: Premier, Climax, and Brightwell. Buckets are provided and shoes required.
Cost: $7 per gallon
Hours: May to June; 7 a.m. – noon, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Information: (228) 255-5979; www.dannemannms.com
4. Blue River Farms
Where: Mount Olive
Meet Mississippi’s most productive and oldest farm. The first of this farm’s blueberries were planted on this land more than 30 years ago. Today, visitors go to pick blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, peas, beans, corn, summer squash, okra, peppers and tomatoes. Bring a picnic, shop for pre-made jams and jellies, or pick your own fruits, as well as pecans, when in season.
Cost: $1.50 per pound for blueberries.
Hours: 7 a.m.-sunset, 7 days a week. Picking is only available during season.
Information: (601) 797.3922; www.blueriverfarmsms.com
5. Cherry Creek Orchards
When you visit this 123-acre farm, you’ll want to reserve more time than just a few minutes to “pop in.” May through October, you can pick your own apples, blackberries, grapes, melons, nectarines, peaches, plums and other vegetables. You can also sample honey from the onsite hives and in the farm, pick a pumpkin.
Cost: varies depending on produce.
Hours: vary. Please call.
Information: (662) 489.7783; www.beautifulgardener.wordpress.com
6. Charlie’s U-Pik
It all started in the mid-1990s with 10 acres bought by Charlie Eubanks. Fast forward to today and this family farm boasts 100 acres. Fruits and veggies include strawberries in spring, and in the fall, beans, carrots, okra, sweet corn, cucumbers and peas. Bring your own bucket to avoid the $8 bucket fee.
Cost: $10 per 5-gallon bucket of berries. Other prices vary.
Hours: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday seasonally.
Information: (601) 530-0548; www.charliesupik.com
This is one of five states featured in our series about some of the best you-pick farms in the South. Click on a state below to read about other great Southern pick-your-own farms:
Do you have a favorite pick-your-own farm that isn't on our list? Tell us about it in the comments below.