Pick-Your-Own Spots in Western Massachusetts

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 15, Pick-Your-Own Spots

Berry picking with the family. (Photo credit: Sarah Buttenwieser)

I wrote a little post for Momfilter, (fun site—I especially adore the pretty pictures!) about the joys of pick-your-own. For people who live in a city, I realize that the chance to go berry or apple picking—or even pluck a few cherry tomatoes from an outdoor plant, potted or in a garden plot—requires some planning (vacation activity, anyone?). And so writing that post made me think about another Mash Notable reality of life in this corner of New England: there are ample pick-you-own opportunities.

What’s more, from the pumpkin patch or apple orchard field trip that’s a staple in our preschools and early elementary years to the family outings for fill-in-the-blank favorite harvest-able, it turns out that the experience of picking food from where it grows is usual around here. This is a good thing for those of us hoping our kids understand the farm-to-table connection or at least the food doesn’t grow on supermarket shelves. This is a promising thing for the farmers’ markets, which span from Springfield to the Berkshires and pretty much all points in between. Appreciation for the most local food is, I think we can all agree, a sign of progress, even if it hits your ear as retro (my neighbors with the veggie garden in front of their house, I always equate with some read-about and heard-about tale of victory gardens).

❥ And this is a good moment to share this tip: you can find out about picking and farmers’ marketing and CSA sharing through CISA’s site. If you’re Berkshire bound, you can learn more through Berkshire Grown.

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Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

Q&A: Where to Pick Local Pears?


Pear trees are becoming heavy with fruit.  Share your favorite spot to purchase or pick fresh local pears. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Pears are coming into season soon. Do you know of a place families can PYO pears, or a farm stand to purchase fresh local pears? Share your favorite place to pick or purchase local pears!

  • Heather Richardson wrote: I can’t wait to see what others say! I’d love to find local pears! I bought some from some guy on the side of the road last year! They were cheap and tasty… I even went back and got more! Hope I see him again this year!
  • Liz Castro wrote: Wow, which road, which side? I love pears.
  • Heather Richardson wrote: Liz, this was in Belchertown, MA (Rt.9 by the Sunoco Station/Saportitos/Napa Auto Parts).
  • Alissa Imre Geis wrote: Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield, MA usually has pears. It is little early yet. They have excellent peaches, plums and early apples NOW!
  • Jody Hadden wrote: I had a pear tree at my old house – seeing as I know the new owners… I just get mine there but I believe they have pick your own at Lakeview Orchard in Lanesboro, MA.
  • Jennifer Reiffert wrote: Yum I want some! And I want to pick ’em please ♥
  • Marissa Tenenbaum Potter wrote: Apex Orchard in Shelburne Falls, MA does organic Asian pears…
  • Jennifer ‘kippy’ York wrote: Sentinel Farm on Cottage St. in Belchertown, MA has pick your own days in Sept and Oct. They have mostly apples but may have pears as well. www.sentinelfarm.com
  • Arianna Alexsandra Grindrod wrote: We just bought pears from Brook Farm at the Ashfield Farmers Market. Maya nabbed one as soon as we got in the car and munched it til it was just a core.

Q&A: Raspberries


Raspberries can be found along the many bike paths in Western MA, or you can PYO at local farms in Plainfield and Cheshire recommended here. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Where’s your favorite place to pick raspberries with the family in Western MA?

  • Nancy Cavillones responds: Ooh, I am going to follow this thread! We are new to the area and don’t know the picking spots yet!
  • Liz Castro responds: There’s a great place in Plainfield but I can’t remember the name …
  • Shannon Toye responds: Lakeview Orchard, Cheshire, MA. Delicious cherries too!
  • Sienna Wildfield responds: Cherries?! Thanks for the lead, Shannon! – Ed Stockman from Summit Farm (131 Summit Street) in Plainfield (organic raspberries) mentioned that he will have PYO starting June 26th!
  • Josh Pelland responds: Even the Noho and Amherst rail trail is full of ’em. Get them before the birds do!
  • Kristin Schlereth responds: Along the rail trail in Easthampton!
  • Jennifer Pierce responds: www.pickyourown.org/mass – The bike path in Turners Falls by Unity Park.
  • Chris Sanborn responds: My backyard on Hillside Road.
  • Heather Richardson responds: Blueberries are ready too according to Dickinson Farms in Granby! Thanks for posting raspberries I wanted to do those too!
  • Aime DeGrenier responds: “Mountain Pasture Farm – No pesticides are used, blueberries, raspberries (Autumn, red)… 818 Surriner Road, Becket, MA. Phone: 413-658-8431. Alternate Phone: 413-623-6455. Email: ellsworthrs@verizon.net. Open: 10 am to 5 pm Saturday through Thursday, closed on Friday Do not use pesticides. Cash, only.”

Add you recommendation too in the comment field below!

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