Blackberry U-Pick Orchards in Illinois in 2023, by area of state
Keep in mind, not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have blackberries orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!
These are the areas of the state that have blackberry orchards to pick blackberries. Click on the area closet you!
Blackberry Picking Tips, Recipes and Information
the U.S. Blackberries typically peak during June in the South, and in July in
the North. Crops are ready at various times of the month depending on which part
of the state you are located. In order to produce good local Blackberries,
producers depend on ideal spring and early summer weather conditions.
See this page for a list of
blackberry festivals around the U.S.
Before you leave to go to the farm:
Always call before you go to the farm - And when they are in season, a large
turnout can pick a field clean before noon, so CALL first!
early. On weekends, then fields may be picked clean by NOON!
Most growers furnish picking containers designed for Blackberries, but they
may charge you for them; be sure to call before you go to see if you need to
If you use your own containers, remember that heaping Blackberries more than
5 inches deep will bruise the lower berries.
Plastic dishpans, metal oven pans with 3 inch tall sides and large
pots make good containers. I like the Glad storage containers like the one
something to drink and a few snacks; you'd be surprised how you can work up
a thirst and appetite! And don't forget hats and sunscreen for the sun. Bugs
usually aren't a problem, but some deet might be good to bring along if it
has been rainy.
Tips on How to Pick Blackberries
There are two types of blackberries to know about: thorny and thornless!
Obviously, the thornless are easier to pick, but some people claim the
thorny varieties are sweeter. With the thorny plants, you want to reach into
the plant in the gaps, so you don't need to touch anything but the berry
you're after, avoiding the thorns.
- A ripe blackberry is deep black with a
plump, full feel. It will pull free from the plant with only a slight tug.
If the berry is red or purple, it's not ripe yet.
- Repeat these
operations using both hands until each holds 3 or 4 berries.Unlike
strawberries, blackberries are usually pretty tough, I dump mine into the
bucket. Repeat the picking process with both hands.
- Don't overfill
your containers or try to pack the berries down.
General Picking Tips
Whether you pick Blackberries from your garden or at a Pick-Your-Own farm, here
are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Pick only the berries that are fully black. Reach in between the stems to
grab for hidden berries ready for harvest. Bend down and look up into the
plant and you will find loads of berries that other people missed!
Avoid placing the picked berries in the sunlight any longer than necessary.
It is better to put them in the shade of a tree or shed than in the car
trunk or on the car seat. Cool them as soon as possible after picking.
Blackberries may be kept fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week,
depending upon the initial quality of the berry. After a few days in
storage, however, the fruit loses its bright color and fresh flavor and
tends to shrivel.
When you get home
wash the berries until you are ready to use them or freeze them. Washing
makes them more prone to spoiling.
- Pour them out into shallow pans and remove any mushed, soft or rotting
- Put a couple of days supply into the fridge, wash off the others, drain
them and freeze them up! (Unless you're going to make jam right away)
Blackberries are less perishable than blueberries or strawberries, but
refrigerate them as soon as possible after picking. Temperatures between 34
F and 38 F are best, but, be careful not to freeze the blackberries (while
they are in the fridge)!
- Even under ideal conditions blackberries will only keep for a week in a
refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, use them as soon as possible
Blackberry Recipes, Freezing and Jam directions
- How to make Blackberry jam - It is VERY easy - especially
with our free Blackberry jam
directions - very easy!
- How to make
How to freeze berries
- Blackberry syrup, make and can it!
- Seedless blackberry pie!
Blackberry Festivals: Where, When and More to Find an Blackberry
Festival Near You this year:
Blackberry Facts and Tips
Black Raspberries, also known as "black caps" are a very healthy food;
packed with anthocyanins!
- The USDA says 1 cup of blackberries has about 62 calories.
- 1 cup of blackberries, not packed down weighs about 140 grams.
Select plump, firm, fully blackberries. Unripe berries will not
ripen once picked.
- Ohio State University's Article Regarding Their Prevention of Cancer
Oregon Berry Black Raspberry Brochure
- Blackberry tea was said to be a cure for dysentery during the Civil War.
During outbreaks of dysentery, temporary truces were declared to allow both
Union and Confederate soldiers to "go blackberrying" to forgage for
blackberries to ward off the disease.
- Blackberries were enjoyed by the ancient Greeks, who believed them to be
a cure for diseases of the mouth and throat, as well as a preventative
against many ailments, including gout.
- The blackberry leaf was also used as an early hair dye, having been
recommended by Culpeper, the English herbalist, to be boiled in a lye
solution in order to "maketh the hair black".
- Guide to blackberry varieties
- Researchers have known for quite some time that berries contain
antioxidants which help to fight cancer causing free radicals. A study at
the University of Ohio has found that blackberries are the most potent
cancer fighting berries of them all, by nearly 40 percent!
- U-pick Blackberry farms typically sell berries by the pound. A quart
equals 1 and 1/2 pounds of fresh berries.
- Do the math and be careful not to over-purchase as Blackberries quickly
mold when left at room temperature, and only last a couple of days in the
- You can easily freeze berries that you cannot use right away - just
wash, cut the hulls off and pop them into a ziplock bag, removing as much
air as possible. Those vacuum food sealers REALLY do a good job of this!
The berries will keep for many months frozen without air.
- Want to go to a blackberry festival?
See this page for a list!