Know before you go: We are almost ready to take blueberry picking reservations. Booking system testing and content development underway (preview below). Anticipating readiness to accept reservations about third week of May. We are excited to welcome you!

We delight in sharing 2021 crops of organic blueberries, annual vegetables, and flowers with North Florida foodies who want to stash gallons of blueberries in fridge and freezer. 

Blueberry harvest is a community farming practice of sharing the labor and yield. We show you how to pick only delicious, fully ripe berries and protect plants. Participation is intended for healthy adults, and possibly tweens/teens. The invitation to harvest is accompanied by guidelines covered in this post and policies intended to facilitate the best possible farm retreat experience for guests, hosts, and biodiversity. We’ve invested everything we have to create a destination and rely on informed guests to help protect the investment for everyone. With abundant choices, we are all the more grateful you choose to collaborate with us.

Read: Adult guests are requested to invest a few minutes in reading this page of guidelines. Thank you for your time, trust and patronage.
  1. Picking is intended for adults who want to pick at least one gallon of blueberries per person.
  2. $20 – 30 sliding scale per person, includes 1 gallon picking session and springfed pond ecosystem recreation at leisure.
    • Cash or venmo @deepspringfarm (8127)
    • Additional gallons at least $20 each or $5 per quart.
    • $20 per gallon does not cover crop expenses. We chose not to raise prices at this time, and suggest the sliding scale as a way to offer additional support.
  3. Reservations *most* Monday – Saturday mornings 8AM – 12PM noon. Last start 11AM.
    • Book reservation using form embedded in this page. No drop in visits. The farm is open by reservation only.
  4. Older children (tweens/teens) may pick with advance notice if accompanying adult has picked at DSF prior.
    • No first time picking guests with young children (ok if in stroller).
    • Picking is physically stressful due to exercising in June sun, heat, humidity while carrying berries and water.

Book: Make a picking reservation using fill in form and hit submit.  
  1. Book blueberry picking reservations for June 2 through June 26, 2021.
    • No reservations accepted before or after that window.
    • The calendar shows additional dates, but they are not available. (Will fix this problem for 2022 by using a different WordPress plugin.)
  2. Arrival time is an estimate. For example, if you book the 8-9AM slot, it is fine to arrive at 8:30.
  3. It is best to pick produce early,. 8 – 9AM start is ideal.
    • Before 8AM, berries can be damp, which is not desirable for storage.
    • After 10AM, berries are warming and people are wilting.
    • Guests who know they want to cut flowers/herbs are advised to arrive in the 8 – 9AM window. Flowers, like produce, are best picked cool.
  4. Weekday Picking and Saturdays: Wide open availability on weekdays with lots of berries and fewer pickers. Saturdays are well attended usually. Saturday picking guests are limited by ripe berry supply, book as soon as you can commit. Picking scheduled lightly on Fridays to ensure Saturday pickers have enough. If you have a flexible schedule, we suggest picking Mon – Thurs mornings and saving Friday/Saturday mornings for the folks who can only come those days. 
  5. Communicate late arrivals and cancellations in advance. Making a reservation is an appointment for which we prepare with no time to waste. Email in advance, text day of.
  6. Visit at your own risk: Booking a visit serves as a waiver of liability for Deep Spring Farm, protected by Florida’s Agritourism Law. We design and operate the farm for safety and security. Be prepared. Stay relaxed and alert. There is a degree of risk due to insects, wildlife, open bodies of water. 
  7. After submitting, expect confirmation on screen and by email. Please add the appointment to your calendar. The plugin does not offer an Add to Calendar button (will change that for 2022). 
  8. Reservations subject to cancellation by host due to weather and berry production. 
  9. Last minute (day of) reservations are possible. Use the form. Contact us by text to confirm.

Calendar is loading...
Powered by Booking Calendar
- Select Day Mon-Sat AM

Prepare to Visit | What to Bring:
  1. Check the weather.
    • We avoid picking produce in the rain when plants and landscape are easily damaged.
  2. After picking berries, stay as long as you like to picnic, forest bathe and spring dip.
  3. Bring:
    • Cash or phone to Venmo
    • Gallon plastic bags or take home containers to pack berries
    • Cooler for berries, water, picnic snacks.
    • Hats, sun protection, closed toe shoes (to avoid ants).
    • Optional: Bring your own hands free picking container/belt. Otherwise, use provided hands free picking gallon jugs with waist belt.
    • When checking out, wear a facial covering if you like, but not required. We are fully vaccinated and will wear a facial covering upon request.
    • Anything you need for springfed recreation: towel.
  4. Check directions. Allow 30-45 minutes drive time from Gainesville. Enter at the Blue Canoe sign, turning south off County Road 1491 into driveway. Park in field on the left.
    • Walk south with Deep Spring Pond on right. Do not stop and wait at the tall bell, keep walking to the right past barn on left to “Blueberry Gap” between barn and Airstream tool trailer.
  5. Check in at Blueberry Gap, the midway point between parking lot and blueberry patch.
    • We will meet you at the welcome tent and exchange names. If we are not in view to greet you, ring the bell near tent to let us know you are here, or text. 
    • Set anything you don’t want to carry to patch (containers, bag, cooler) on supervised, shaded picnic table.
    • We will get you set up with a bucket, walk you to the patch, and give an overview of picking. 
  6. Toilets are in a bathhouse behind the barn (south side) near Blueberry Gap.
  7. Good drinking water refills available at sinks.

What’s More…:
  1. Freshly harvested organic produce, such as tomatoes and peppers, and U cut flowers available at check out. The earlier flowers are picked, the better, as they last longer  kept cool.
    • Growing organically in Florida is rewarding, though does not yet cover expenses, and we depend on your support to stay open to guests.
  2. Payment Options if cash or Venmo is not possible:
    1. PayPal card reader swipe + transaction fee (no PayPal account necessary).
    2. Use your PayPal account to send money as a friend to Deep Spring Farm (fee free).
    3. Open to barter/trades Mon – Thurs.
  3. The $20 price per gallon applies when Leave No Trace Harvest guidelines are fully complied with: completely ripe *blue* berries, no wasted berries in patch, picking with both hands. Anticipate the high end of sliding scale if many unripe berries are picked or ripe berries are dropped, or you want to give more to support farm objectives.
  4. Guest Cover Charge: $20 is the minimum per adult to pick. It is fine if you want to experience the waterfront farmscape retreat and aren’t interested in picking berries for whatever reason. Plan on making a contribution of $10 minimum per person who visit. 
  5. The farm retreat and picking sessions are available for private group rental during blueberry season and year round. 
  6. It is ideal to “drop everything” and pick before the rain storm happens. The objective is to get those ripe berries off the bush or they will likely split.
  7. Guests are part of the farm family: we look out for the grounds, take care when parking and opening vehicle doors, and look out for each other in general. Please ask for anything you need to feel comfortable and relaxed.
  8. Make advance arrangements with us to park closer to the patch using the west entrance when mobility is a limiting factor. 
  9. The Blueberry Gap Welcome Tent is set up between the barn and Airstream by 8AM, and shuts down about noon. Earlier picking is possible upon request, but berries can be damp. 8:00 – 9AM start time is ideal.
    • It is typically too hot to pick afternoons (berries too warm, losing hydration and softening in the heat as plants and people do). Berries picked warm do not keep as long as cool berries, and will often smush due to dehydration.
    • Late weekday afternoons into early eve are available by request if you are a trusted picker, meaning you have harvested at the farm before, and your schedule does not allow AM picking and the day is not too hot (perhaps overcast). 
  10. next
Pick Blueberries Like a Boss: Leave No Trace Blueberry Picking Tutorial
  1. Sustainable Success: We want everyone to feel supremely successful at picking big, ripe blueberries. Sustainable success means you are very happy picking berries, we are very happy with the condition of the patch when you leave, and everyone is looking forward to the next picking session. 
  2. Harvest Objective: Pick fully ripe berries while leaving no trace of negative impact (waste/damage) on the environment.
    • Quality and length of the harvest season is dependent on many factors, one of which is how gentle guests are with plants and the environment and how selective they are with berries picked. Picking unripe and underripe berries shortens the season and impacts farm economics. 
  3. Different Objectives: We accept that some people can’t/won’t take the time it takes to pick gently and pick fully ripe berries. We request that guests take responsibility for the impact and be generous at checkout to cover the expense. Less careful pickers are welcome, simply pay more than the minimum at check out.
  4. Wear your bucket to be hands free. Unless you are physically unable, all pickers need to use both hands to pick. Hands free is the way to pick so that both hands work together. Wear the belt and hang the container from the waist. Some people hang the container around the neck, or as a crossbody sling. Keep picked berries in the shade. 
  5. Pick into cup: We pick into a recycled cup container, and then pour the container into bucket at waist. This picking method is vastly superior to picking into hands. Hands are like sieves and drop berries. Cups have no holes and catch berries every time. 
  6. Stay on flat pathways: Do not step on mulch in raised blueberry beds. Do not step on sides of beds (where perhaps mulch has eroded away) because that encourages further erosion. Blueberry plants are shallow rooted and we don’t want to compact roots. The drip irrigation system is under the mulch and keeping the mulch in place helps prevent weeds (which we pull by hand). Do not disturb/compress mulch, if you do, fix it. Even if there is a space between plants, it is not ok to cross between plants
  7. Pick only ripe blueberries. Ripe blueberries are big and blue all over, without a hint of red or pink. The biggest, bluest berries are the ripest and sweetest. Keep moving from plant to plant to find the big, all blue berries that need to be picked, not the ones that can keep ripening on plant. If you see a ripe berry, but can’t reach it without stepping on mulch, then it is not your berry. Let it be.
  8. Pick with your eyes first. Scan the plant from the ground up: berries ripen from lower canes first and from the end of clusters. If you see fallen berries under the plant, it is a sign that there are ripe berries on the plant. Look for big and blue. Apply your eyes first, then your hands – that way you’ll be sure there is no hidden pollinator/wasp. Look behind you at the plant you just picked to see it from another angle. Are there ripe berries that weren’t apparent from other perspectives?
  9. Pick with both hands. Cup both hands under the ripe berries, then use thumbs + fingertips to gently twist/tickle/release/roll just the completely blue berries. Using your eyes and two hands together will allow you to pick mostly ripe berries and few unripe ones. Keeping cupped hands under berries allows you to catch falling berries. No one handed picking unless you are physically unable to pick with both hands simultaneously.
    • Do not pluck berries: plucking is a pulling action that causes other berries to drop and may break branches.
  10. Deadhead inedible berries as you go: Just like removing spent flower blooms, we remove spent berries as we go. Ripe berries can split with rainfall. Remove split and spent (ugly) berries from plants as you see them. A clean split is still a good to eat berry. Splits and softies (sunripened “raisins”) are great to eat while picking. A spent berry (shriveled, or ragged split or partially munched berry) should be tossed in the pathway (not under plants). More reasons to remove split berries from the plant: deter wasps and ants, help other berries ripen.
  11. Pick up dropped berries: Even with careful picking, it is inevitable that some ripe and underripe berries will drop due to hands/wind/rain/age. If you made it fall, it is your berry. Pick up ripe knocked berries for your bucket, or if not edible, toss in pathway. We want to keep the area under the plants clean to deter insects. It is not ok to leave berries that you made drop under the plant: they either go in your bucket or in the pathway. If it is impossible to bend down for berries that you caused to drop, be generous at checkout.
  12. Do your yoga: Picking beautiful berries is a meditation and a workout, like a mindful yoga practice. Be prepared to stand, walk, bend, twist, reach, crouch, squat, kneel, all along practicing gentleness with yourself and the plants and no hurry. The bucket gets a little heavy as you go (it helps to start in back of patch and move towards front) and the temperatures usually heat up, all part of the Florida blueberry picking experience. Prepare to sweat. Wear clothes that you can wipe your hands on or bring a rag. We encourage breaks, hydration, and hats. 
  13. Volume Control: With respect to fellow guests and neighbors, please keep voices conversational. We know berry picking can be exciting, but thanks for keeping the volume on low, and especially for not yelling.
  14. Tasting Policy/Fee: Eating berries while picking is part of the experience, and an expense. Eat as many as as you like and be generous/round up at check out. We tend to eat split and soft (slightly aged) berries for free and save the best berries for the bucket.