With berry season in full swing, I have been running around like crazy trying to find a u-pick raspberry spot in the Valley. They are, in the end, not very easy to find.
On our way to and from the beach, other farms and adventures along the Old Island Highway I’d seen a sign for u-pick raspberries for several weeks now. But, I haven’t stopped because we just never had the time to really devote to that kind of berry picking.
Then, this week, we ventured out and found Ashprington Farm (next to Devonshire Farm). Cultivated and run by the family who used to own Devonshire, this spot is a well maintained Canadian Environmental Plan Farm that uses no pesticides, fungicides or herbicides, although they do spray commercial fertilizer on the plants in the Spring.
Raspberry picking is tricky – with berries tucked in the brambles, pollinating bees buzzing. But, if you’ve got older kiddos who are great at helping and/or younger kiddos who live for a chance to run loose among the rows, this is one good time.
I would limit your expectations as to the actual amount of raspberries you take home as raspberry lovers have been out in full force and the number of ripe berries when we went was rather limited. Ashprington has two varieties – one that flowers early and one later. The early ones are going strong and the later ones (which by the way are huge, juicy and incredible) are just starting to make their debut. I’d say that another week or so of sunshine and those babies should be ready to go. You should be able to pick through the first week of October unless there is a cold snap. So, there is definitely some time and some weeks will definitely be better than others.
That said, I think this is one fine way to spend a silly morning for under $10 (they’re generally only open until 1). The tiny person and I spent about two hours wandering the 1,000 feet of berry patch, checking out the slugs and occasionally picking a berry or two. We didn’t take a whole lot home. But, she had a great time and, the view alone (the Comox Glacier is spectacular from there) was worth it for me.
I’m told there are a few other u-pick raspberry spots around the Valley. So, if you know where they are please let us know.
Otherwise, I definitely recommend heading on out to Ashprington Farm for a little picking and enjoy these late-summer rituals with the whole family in tow.