Nothing screams summertime in Central Iowa like getting your hands dirty berry picking. Thanks to our sunny (and rainy) spring, it sounds like it should be a bumper berry crop this year. Whether this is your kids’ first time at the berry patch or if you’re looking to fill dozens of ruby red jam jars, we’ve rounded up eight u-pick berry farms, just a short drive from Des Moines.
Know Before You Go
Call ahead to:
- verify picking times and berry seasons as it varies from farm to farm.
- verify what equipment you will need and what facilities are available on-site.
- verify which methods of payment they accept. Many U Pick farms only accept cash or check.
- verify exactly how to get there from wherever you are. (Unless, you think a day lost in Timbuktu is a fun adventure.)
- Remember comfortable shoes (you will be walking in fields) and wear sun screen.
- Bring your water bottle and pack a picnic if the farm allows.
- And, don’t forget your camera… kids picking berries make a great photo-op!
U-Pick Berry Farms Near Des Moines
Berry Fresh Farms
Fruit: Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries
Where: 30339 K Avenue, Adel, IA
Phone: (515) 554-6698
Tips: Farm hours during strawberry season are Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; CLOSED on Monday and Thursday.
Strawberry Season at Berry Fresh Farms is late May through late June: $3.00/lb You Pick or $3.50/lb We Pick. Summer Red Raspberry, Black Raspberry and Blackberry season is throughout July: $6.50/lb You Pick or $7.50/lb We Pick.
The Berry Patch
Fruit: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Currants, Gooseberries, Raspberries and Strawberries
Where: 62785 280th St, Nevada, IA
Phone: (515) 382-5138
Tips: Farm hours are 8:00 to 11:30 am, Monday through Saturday. CLOSED on Sunday. The Berry Patch plans to host a special anniversary day on Saturday, July 2 to commemorate their 50 years of strawberry growing.
Pick Your Own Strawberry season begins June 2, 2016 and usually lasts 3-4 weeks: $2.25/ lb Pick Your Own, $3.50/lb Picked For You or $6/qt at the farm. Cherries are usually ready the first week of July. Followed by blueberries.
Bob’s Aronia Field
Fruit: Aronia Berries
Where: 101 NE 72nd Place Ankeny, IA 50023
Phone: (515) 778-4262
Tips: Bob’s Aronia Field is open by appointment only for U-pick and already picked berries. Aronia Berries are ready to be picked in mid to late August.
Edge of the Woods
Fruit: Red and Black Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries and Tart Cherries
Where: 15285 Fairfax Street, Indianola, IA
Phone: (515) 961-7252
Tips: 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. CLOSED on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Edge of the Woods is opening for the 2016 season on Saturday, June 4th and they expect to have red raspberries ready to pick in late June. Blueberries will be 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: Strawberries and Red Raspberries
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. Pick Your Own berries are $1.60 per pound and pre-picked berries are sold at $30.00 a flat. They furnish the containers used for picking.
Where: Highway 141 just before Granger
Phone: (515) 276-0852
Tips: Iowa Orchard’s hours at the Granger site are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday through Saturday.
Strawberry Season is late May through late June: $2.00/lb You Pick. Strawberries can also be purchased at the Urbandale location for $6.00/lb Picked.
Upstream Gardens & Orchard
Fruit: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Mulberries, Raspberries and Strawberries
Where: 5987 Ne 88th Street, Altoona, IA 50009
Phone: (515) 957-1303
Tips: Upstream Gardens & Orchard is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
9:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 to 7:00 pm.
Watch their website to know when fruit is ready to be picked. Strawberries are available now $2.00/lb You Pick or $4.00/lb Pre-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.
Where is your favorite place to pick berries near Des Moines with your pint-sized crew? Tell us in the Comments below!