Imagine lush, sweet, ripe fruit straight from the source. It almost sounds like a drug operation a la “Breaking Bad,” but it’s not. Though sinfully sweet and addictingly delicious, fresh fruit is completely legal. Minnesota’s support of agriculture (truly an agri-culture here) means that even urban dwellers from the middle of the city don’t have to travel far to find the freshest fruit our fertile lands have to offer. Spend a warm summer day or cool autumn afternoon picking fruit in Minnesota.
Berry Hill Farm
6510 185th Ave. N.W.
Anoka, MN 55303
Pick strawberries and raspberries all summer long, and rhubarb and pumpkins in the fall, at this farm just outside of the Twin Cities. The woods surrounding the farm make for a picturesque location to spend a summer day with the family or a date with a loved one. The fresh, juicy berries are sweet as sugar and so much healthier than those from grocery stores. And the satisfaction of spending the day outside makes them taste all the better.
Cider Flats Apple Orchard
35565 2 Rivers Road
Hinckley, MN 55037
As the name will tell you, Cider Flats has plenty of apples of all sorts ready for you to enjoy. But that’s not all. You can pick your own plums, cherries and fall raspberries as well for a full fruit basket. A short road trip up I-35 will get you to the the serene, beautiful location where a day goes by far too quickly roaming the grounds and indulging in the tastiest fruit. Bring the kids along as there are plenty of activities for them like upgrading fresh-picked apples into caramel apples and plenty more.
The Strawberry Basket
12591 Aetna Ave. N.E.
Monticello, MN 55362
Fill your basket with more than just strawberries at this 15-year veteran of the local produce scene; blueberries and raspberries are also available for picking all summer long. You won’t find berries better than these. Succulent and juicy, they literally burst with flavor. The family-run farm is located just outside the metro, and the easy drive is more than worth it for fruit this sweet, as well as to support The Strawberry Basket’s environmentally friendly, sustainable growing practices.
Related: Best Apple Picking In Minnesota
19060 Manning Trail N.
Marine St. Croix, MN 55047
The amount of fruit available for picking at this beautiful farm is mind boggling. Red and black and white currants, gooseberries, grapes, apples, elderberries, raspberries and so much more make this farm something truly special. The expansive grounds make for a great stroll while you decide which fruit you’d like to take home, and maybe snack a little while you’re there, and don’t forget to pick up a few recipes for pies, etc. as the smiling staff is always ready to help.
Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard
12971 St. Croix Trail S.
Hastings, MN 55033
Picking apples is a special thing in Minnesota. Every year, when the trees grow heavy with fruit, families from all over the state pack up and head to the nearest orchard. But what makes an orchard great? Quaint setting, complete with farmhouse, tractor rides and goats you can feed straight from your hand? Sure, sounds wonderful. Plenty of apple cider for everyone? Of course. But when it comes down to it, it’s about the apples. Fischer’s offers all of the above, and some of the tastiest, crunchiest apples around for the ultimate trip to the orchard.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.