Blueberry Booking

Hello Picky Friend! Blueberry Picking Season 2024 begins at the end of May. This page will be updated before then and email invitations will be sent, so be on the email list to get your invitation.

7/2/23: Blueberry Season 2023 was super fun and now it is done! Thank you for your support.

May 26 – July 1, 2023 | Tues – Sat | 8:00AM – 10:30AM start
$30 farm picking pass per person
Includes picking one gallon + optional springfed pond recreation/picnicking.
Pick more: $30 per additional gallon/proportional.

Stay on this page to book picking sessions.

Get seasonal crop harvest updates on the Timeline Page.

Visit the Blueberry Path Page for best picking practices.

Have a delicious adventure with no drama!
Most of us love to eat blueberries, but harvest is not for everyone. Picking is intended for adults (and possibly children) who want a gallon or more blueberries. Be aware of conditions including deep, tannic bodies of water, wildlife, ants, wasps, spurge nettle stinging weed (possibly in grass), intense Florida sun/heat/humidity. Lots of walking, weight of berries, and focus and length of time it takes to pick a gallon create a (too) narrow comfort zone for many children and adults. Thank you for taking care.

  1. Pick Your Days.
    • Open: Tuesday through Saturday 8:00AM to 12:00PM (last start 10:30AM).
    • Closed: Sundays, Mondays, rainy/wet days.
    • Saturdays: Book in advance as Saturdays are usually the most popular day of the week and may fill to capacity in advance.
    • Early season: Book ahead as some days in the first two weeks of season have the potential to fill to capacity due to lower ratio of ripe to unripe berries.
      • Picking is relatively slower the first two weeks due to picking single berries and small clusters while taking care not to disturb adjacent unripe berries.
    • Peak season: Mid June through the fourth week of June. Ripe berries are most abundant in the week before and after summer solstice. Picking is fastest during peak season, when it can take less than an hour to pick a gallon due to ripe berries in clusters, and picking two gallons in one session happens often.
    • Late season: Post peak is late June into July. Late berries ripen into July. Berries are still beautiful even as they thin out on the bushes.
    • Patch conditions are updated on the Timeline page. If there is no recent update on the timeline, then it is safe to assume conditions are great.
      • We are unable to field requests for patch conditions, or any other information made available on website. Thanks for understanding our hands are full.
    • Pop Up Picking: Check the Timeline for possible pop up picking days in July when late, late berries are ready.
    • Picking Schedule Tips:
      • It takes 60 – 90 minutes to pick a gallon of beautiful berries. The farm is only open when picking falls in this range.
      • Pick at the beginning of season for berries to eat fresh now. Pick in peak season starting mid June, when it is faster to fill gallons, for berries to freeze. Mid-late June, many people pick two gallons in a visit.
        • A gallon = 16 cups = 32 half cup servings. About 12 gallons will provide a serving of blueberries everyday for a year, plus some to share.
      • We are happy to consider opening for small group private picking parties when the regular days and hours don’t work
  2. Pick Your Time.
    • Book between 8:00 – 9:00AM if your schedule allows, to experience cooler temperatures and firmer berries.
    • Last start time 10:30AM. This last start time is not recommended (too late for comfort) on hot days.
      • 10:30AM start means we are walking you to patch by 10:30AM. No starts past 10:30AM.
    • Check out by 11:50AM.
    • Arrival grace 15 minutes: For example, if your reservation is for 8:30AM, it is fine to arrive at 8:45AM.
      • Text if you will be later than 15 minutes. It makes a difference to farm work flow on certain days.
    • You are welcome to enjoy the springfed pond waterfront at leisure, past noon.
  3. Pick Your Team.
    • Picking is intended for adults: solo, pairs, small groups. First time picking adults welcome.
      • Provide your full name and full names of guests accompanying you.
    • We meet and greet and walk everyone (new and returning) to patch to get started in a good spot and show you how to pick fully ripe berries and protect unripe berries and plants.
    • Returning pickers: Older children (tweens) and possibly younger children may accompany and pick with a returning picker. One child under age ten per adult. $10 minimum per picking child (smaller picking bucket). Child minimum waived for carried/in stroller.
      • No first time picking guests with children under age ten (except ok in carrier/stroller).
        • That said, if you have not visited the farm before, but really want to pick with a young child, book with understanding the minimums will apply.
    • Open to barter/trades. Willing to pick on halves with skilled, selective pickers (returning picker, all blue, unblemished, big berries). Pick a gallon or more of Grade A berries at no charge and we each get half.
    • Open to volunteers Tuesday – Saturday mornings, for simple, down to earth, immediately gratifying activities, such as hoeing and pulling weeds, mulching. Volunteer, then pick blueberries as our guest.
  4. Pack and Prepare. Bring everything you need for a farm outing.
    • Take home containers/bags for berries, produce, flowers (otherwise, $1 per gallon fee)
    • Water bottle, closed toe shoes (ants), phone, hat + sun protective clothing, cash or other payment method
    • Cooler for berries and produce
    • Consider picnic snacks, towels and gear to cool off in Deep Spring.
    • Optional: Bring your own hands free picking container/belt.
      • Farm provides hands free picking gallon jugs with waist belt.
    • Zero Waste: DSF is a zero waste farm. Pack in, pack out. If it is compostable, shovels are available to bury, otherwise, keep it with you. We don’t have trash/recycling pick up.
  5. Drive and Arrive.
    • Check the weather.
    • Check directions. Allow 30-45 minutes drive time from Gainesville. Enter the farm’s main entrance driveway at the blue canoe, turning south off County Road 1491. Park in field on the left.
    • Guests are part of the farmily: we take care when parking and opening vehicle doors, treat the facilities and landscape gently (stay on paths), pick up dropped things to turn in, and look out for each other in general.
    • Special Accommodations for Impaired Mobility: Make advance arrangements with us to park closer to the patch using the west entrance. Note soft, mulched ground is prevalent.
    • Walk to Blueberry Gap: Walk south with Deep Spring Pond on right. Do not stop and wait at the tall bell, keep walking SW, keeping pond and massive live oak trees on your right and U cut flower gardens and barn on your left. You will arrive at Blueberry Gap, the area under the Southern Magnolia between barn and Airstream tool trailer and approximate midway point between parking lot and blueberry patch.
      • We (Leela and Michael) will meet you at the Welcome Tent and exchange names. If we are not in view, ring the bell near tent or text.
      • Set anything you don’t want to carry to patch (containers, bag, cooler) on supervised, shaded picnic table. Many pickers take water with them to patch and leave other things at the Gap. Please ask for anything you need to feel comfortable and relaxed.
        • Hand sanitizer, all natural fire ant/wasp sting pain reliever spray, all natural insect repellent, first aid, lost and found, extra water bottles, extra hats, towels available.
    • Picking gear: We equip you with a clean bucket and picking cup, walk you to the patch, and give an overview of picking.
    • Restrooms and sinks: Toilets and sinks are in a bathhouse behind the barn (south side).
    • Water: Good drinking well water refills available at sinks.
  6. Check Out.
    • $30 minimum per person per gallon applies when Leave No Trace Best Picking Practices are followed: almost all completely blue berries (not purple) and no waste in patch.
      • Bring your own take home containers/bags or add $1 per gallon.
      • Additional support is most welcome if you enjoyed tasting berries in the patch or simply had a great time and can help keep the U pick experience alive. Growing organically in Florida is rewarding, though does not yet cover expenses.
    • Cash, Zelle, or Venmo as friend preferred @deepspringfarm.
      • Credit card swipe add about $1.50 per gallon in card fees.
        • Please tell us when you check in that you plan to pay with card so that card reader is ready at check out.
    • Transfer Berries: We pour berries (with a funnel, otherwise, berries can tumble to ground) into bags/containers that you brought or we supply.
      • Keep the bag/container cracked open to prevent warm berries from steaming, and put them in a cooler, then refrigerate/freeze as soon as possible.
    • Vegetables / Flowers/ Plants: Usually freshly harvested organic produce, such as tomatoes and peppers, and flowers are available for purchase. Thank you for filling your bags and baskets. Registered nursery grown plants: persimmon, fig, also available.
      • U cut flowers, like zinnias, celosia, gomphrena, $10 per bunch. Borrow pruners to cut. We have take home containers. Flowers keep longer when cut while cooler.
  7. Communicate late arrivals and cancellations. Change or cancel your reservation via the email link provided. Text last minute arrival delay (if longer than 15 minutes) and cancellations.
    • Weather Cancellations: Reservations subject to last minute cancellation by host due to inclement weather. Rain outs happen.
      • As June progresses, the weather typically becomes rainier. Have back up days in case your first choice is a rain out.
      • When possible, pick before a rain event. After significant rainfall, a percentage of ripe berries are prone to split on the plant, and then wasps and other insects are attracted to split berries. All that can be avoided when ripe berries are picked before rain.
    • Berry Supply Cancellations: It is possible, though rare, that we must cancel next day reservations due to demand exceeding berry production.
  8. Visit at your own risk. Booking a visit serves as a waiver of liability for Deep Spring Farm, protected by Florida’s Agritourism Law. There are inherent risks due to insects, wildlife, open bodies of water, uneven ground. Picking is strenuous due to exercising in June sun, heat, and humidity while carrying extra weight of berries and water. We will help with anything you need to be safe and well. Leave patch immediately if lightning is present. All guests must provide name and contact info and book an appointment online (liability waiver). If you are unable to book online, we will make the booking and provide a liability waiver to sign upon arrival.

Book Now! Fill out the form and submit to receive an email confirmation.
The email contains a link to change or cancel the booking.
Please let Leela know if you encounter any issue with the booking system.

$35 Two for One Taster Experience:
2 people + 2 picking cups + 1 picking jug = $35 total.

The $35 Taster Experience is for two people sharing the fruits of their labor to pick one gallon together: two adults or 1 adult + 1 child. Pick together and save time and money on the farm picking minimum. Tell us you want this option at check in. Offer valid when 1 picking jug is shared by 2 people. The five dollar up charge defrays the impact of a 2nd person. Change your mind? Ask for another picking jug if you decide you both want a gallon.

Satisfaction Guarantee: The farm opens for picking when ripe blueberries are abundant. The farm closes to picking when ripe blueberries are not abundant. If you come to pick and are not satisfied or become unwell, you are under no obligation to continue picking and are free to leave with our thanks for taking care of yourself.

We are grateful for your commitment to the local food community and your presence on the Blueberry Path. Thanks + Love | Leela and Michael