Central Iowa is ripe with places where families can pick their own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and more. Deciding where to go can be a challenge, so we’ve handpicked a few of our favorites.
Harvesting your own fruit is not only fun, but it connects you with the source of your food and supports local farmers. And it doesn’t get fresher than picking fruit right off the vine. This is especially important for strawberries, which are sweeter and more delicate than most grocery-store varieties and have a shorter shelf life.
Please be sure call ahead or check the farms’ websites to confirm that fields are open and berries are ripe.
For more locally grown food options, check out 2019: Your Daily Guide to Farmers’ Markets in Des Moines. To find more things to do in Des Moines check out our Summer Fun Guide.
Here’s where you can pick your own berries in Central Iowa:
Fruit: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Currants, Gooseberries, Raspberries and Strawberries
Where: 62785 280th Street, Nevada, IA
Phone: (515) 382-5138
Tips: Once the picking season starts, The Berry Patch’s regular hours are typically 9:00 am to 12:00 pm each day, Monday through Saturday. They may be sold out earlier than noon, so be sure to call ahead or visit their website and Facebook page. Pick Your Own Strawberry season usually lasts 3-4 weeks. Cherries, raspberries and gooseberries are typically ready the first week of July followed by blueberries and blackberries in August.
Bob’s Aronia Field
Fruit: Aronia Berries
Where: 101 NE 72nd Place Ankeny, IA 50023
Phone: (515) 778-4262
Tips: During picking season Bob’s Aronia Field is open on Weeknights 5:00 to 8:00 pm and Sundays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm or by appointment. Aronia Berries are ready to be picked in mid to late August. They have both U-pick and already picked berries available.
Fruit: Red and Black Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries and Tart Cherries
Where: 15285 Fairfax Street, Indianola, IA
Phone: (515) 961-7252
Tips: Watch Edge of the Woods’ Facebook Page for their 2019 opening date. Seasonal farm hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00 am to 1:00 pm; Saturdays 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sundays 1:00 to 5:00 pm. They are CLOSED on Mondays and Wednesdays. Red raspberries are typically ready to pick in late June. Blueberries are usually ready to pick mid-June through July.
Fruit: Sweet Cherries, Black Tartan Cherries and Blueberries
Where: 17246 125th Street, Van Wert, IA 50262
Phone: (515) 231-8008
Tips: Engdahl Farm is open year-round by appointment only. Cherries and blueberries are typically available in mid-June through July.
Fruit: Aronia Berries
Where: 14769 Buchanan Street; Carlisle, IA 50047
Phone: (515) 989-4482
Tips: Aronia berries are a powerfully potent antioxidant fruit grown in Central Iowa. During picking season Fogle’s is open Saturday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm and Monday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. They post when they’re open for the season on their Facebook page.
Where: 1348 295th Street, Montour, Iowa 50173
Phone: (641) 492-6353
Tips: Hinegardner Orchard hours are Sunday through Saturday 7:00 am to 12:00 noon. Wednesdays 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Strawberries will be ready to be picked around the first week of June and will last about 3 weeks.
Where: 13140 NW 102nd Avenue, Granger, IA
Phone: (515) 276-0852
Tips: Iowa Orchard’s seasonal hours at the Granger site are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday through Saturday. Strawberry Season is typically late May through late June. Watch their Facebook page for their official opening date. Pre-picked strawberries can also be purchased at their Urbandale location.
Fruit: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Mulberries, Raspberries and Strawberries
Where: 5987 NE 88th Street, Altoona, IA 50009
Phone: (515) 957-1303
Tips: Upstream Gardens & Orchard will have regular hours once strawberry picking starts. Until then give them a call to make an appointment. (Their hours are typically Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 to 7:00 pm.) Watch their website to know when fruit is ready to be picked.
Fruit: Aronia Berries
Where: 705 SW Ringgold Street, Boone, IA
Phone: (515) 432-9251
Tips: Timberlea Farm is open by appointment only for U-pick and already picked berries. Aronia Berries are ready to be picked in mid to late August.
What’s your favorite U-Pick berry farm in Central Iowa? Let us know!