Blueberry season is underway for the Sunshine state, and two local farms – Saladino’s Red Barn Farm and Green Meadow Farms- invited residents to the annual “U-Pick” experience where you can eat, pick and take home ripe organic blueberries.
The Saladino Red Barn Farm is located at 57 Valley Rise Road in Crawfordville and Green Meadows Farm is located at 177 Blue Bird Road in Monticello and is only open for picking on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
Tina and Steve Saladino started growing blueberries on their farm located in Woodville almost 20 years ago and began their "U-Pick" season this past week.
Steve says he was inspired by his mother to start a blueberry farm, she encouraged him to go into business for himself after retiring.
“My mother who was also my therapist told me you can either go back to school and start a second act, or use this beautiful land to grow blueberries so that’s what I did and I love what I do,” Steve said.
Steve Saladino says he carefully manicures the farm so it is perfect for children and families to come out and pick the blueberries that are in season from May to July.
“Our farm is very family friendly, we get a lot of home school kids, mommy and me groups and especially little kids who really enjoy it,” says Tina Saladino.
The Saladino’s farm is naturally organic, meaning they use fertilizer to keep the soil moisturized in the heat.
In Monticello, Green Meadow Farm offers USDA certified organic blueberries along with blueberry lemonade iced tea and blueberry ice cream for everyone.
Mackenzie Ligas, a local customer, says that she enjoys the farm and the friendly environment.
“The lovely couple that runs the farm is amazing! Very friendly with amazing berries. The blueberry lemonade iced tea is to die for. Definitely a new tradition.”