Pick Your Own NC Blackberries!
Here at Justus Orchard we grow Navaho and Ouachita Blackberries. Both are thornless varieties that are sweet and easy to pick. During Blackberry season our Bakery is open on weekends offering our delicious Blackberry Cobbler and Ice Cream, Blackberry Jams, Jelly and Syrup. Please see our Calendar of Events for Bakery opening dates.
We are open for U Pick Blackberries 7 days a week starting July 1st.
Here are a few Blackberry tips
Tips on How to Pick Blackberries
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.
Don’t overfill your containers or try to pack the berries down.
General Picking Tips
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’ll 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
DON’T wash the berries until you are ready to use them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.
Pour them out into shallow pans and remove any mushed, soft or rotting berries
Put a couple of days supply into the fridge, wash off the others 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.
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 after purchase or freeze them for future use.