Written By Stephanie Greenwald
Did you know that Central Indiana is home to one of the only blackberry farms in the Midwest? Located about 15 minutes northeast of Indianapolis, Wild Blackberry Farms encompasses 40 acres. Five of those acres are home to the some of the most delicious, plump blackberries you have ever tasted.
Blackberry U-Pick Season
U-pick starts in July and usually lasts through September. Picking is best in the cooler, early morning hours so the farm is currently only open for u-pick from 7 am-noon. Owner Greg is hoping to expand into evening hours once the weather starts cooling off in the fall. This farm provides berries to many area farm stands and stores. The farm employs commercial pickers to help harvest but there are plenty left for the rest of us.
What to Expect
When you arrive at 10728 S. 700 W. in Fortville, you will drive up a narrow, gravel path and park in the grass near the white barn. Just inside the barn is a small stand where you will start and end your picking experience. The employees there will give you advice on what berry varieties are available and where the best place to pick is going to be. You can borrow a bucket for picking and transfer to your own container after paying or keep the souvenir bucket for an additional $3.
The picking fields are stroller, wagon, and wheelchair friendly but depending on the amount of rainfall they have received, may be muddy. Best to wear rain boots or shoes you are okay getting dirty.
The berries grow on thorn less vines so little ones can get in on all the action without getting scratched up.
The Wild Blackberry Farm has four different varieties to pick from. Berries range in sweetness and size. They recommend you try a berry to make certain you like it before picking a bucket full. The decision might be tough, so feel free to pick a bunch from all the varieties available! They all cost the same; $5/lb of u-pick or $6.50 for ready picked.
The farm will tell you how to clean them, store, and eat your berries—check out their website for recipes and other advice on caring for your harvest.
Visiting the Farm
You may notice the garden just outside the barn growing different fruits and veggies. Depending on what they harvest you can purchase farm fresh produce too. Take a minute to get a photo with a row of giant sunflowers. Visit in late July, early August and you can see how you measure up to these colossal blooms.
The Wild Blackberry Farm is home to a few animals too. Saturdays are best for visiting with the horses, Penny the pot-bellied pig, the chickens, and goats. You are likely to see the animals wandering during the week but there is no guarantee.
Picnic tables are usually set up in grassy areas but may be removed if there is an event planned. Bring a picnic blanket just in case. The fields close at noon so plan on picking first then eating lunch after. How about some fresh blackberries for dessert? There is port-a-potty located on the outskirts of the field and also a restroom at the back of the barn.
What’s The Buzz
Wild Blackberry Farm is home to around 800,000 honey bees. The bees are excellent pollinators. The honey they make tastes different depending on when it is sourced. You can find clover, honeysuckle, and alfalfa honey in the early parts of the year and blackberry honey now. You can purchase fresh from the hive honey at the farm stand in the white barn. Did you know eating local honey is better for your immune system and can reduce pollen allergy symptoms?
What to Bring to the Farm
Bring a large, shallow container to carry your pickings. If you forget a container to take your berries home in you can buy one of their buckets for $3. Blackberries are sensitive and can crush easily so don’t try to pile too many on top of each other.
Bring along your sunscreen, hats and bug spray if desired. Bugs are not too bad but some visitors may prefer to spray down before heading to the fields. A baby wipe or ten will come in handy when it’s time to clean berry juice from fingers and faces.
When you have wrapped up your visit to the Wild Blackberry Farms head about five minutes into downtown Fortville and visit some more locally owned establishments. If you didn’t bring lunch, we suggest Mozzi’s Pizza in Greenfield less than thirty minutes away.
As with all things happening in this unprecedented time it is always best to check hours and availability before you head out. Things seem to change on a daily basis lately. Along with berries, produce and animals there is a beautiful barn to rent for your event. We have been told the Wild Blackberry Farm is planning a fall festival for 2021 so add that to your fall harvest festival list next year. Plan on arriving early and picking berries for an hour or so. The Wild Blackberry Farm has been harvesting for four years now and we are excited to add them to our annual summer to-do-list.
10728 S 700 W