The Berry Patch planted its first strawberries in 1972, making it one of the first berry operations in the northeast metro area. Red raspberries were planted a couple years later, and our first blueberry plants in 1981. Today we grow about six acres of strawberries, two acres of raspberries and eight acres of blueberries. (We’re the largest blueberry operation in Minnesota!)
Harvest for strawberries typically runs from mid-June to early July; raspberries are available most of July; blueberry picking runs from early July to mid-August. Our business is primarily a pick-your-own business, but we do offer picked fruit by pre-order. Because fruit availability changes daily due to weather and customer demand, we encourage customers to call the farm before coming to confirm fruit availability, and to place orders for picked fruit.
Over the past 40 years, we have innovated with other crops, including day neutral strawberries, yellow and purple raspberries, tart cherries, asparagus and vegetables. We’ve also been progressive in adopting new growing methods, particularly Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an approach to agricultural production that minimizes the use of pesticides through plant and pest monitoring, variety selection, and non-chemical cultural practices that reduce the need for spraying. We’ve also been the host for on-farm research and variety trials sponsored by the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.