Pick Your Own Blueberries at Indigo Farms
Indigo Farms is located in Calabash, North Carolina, just across the NC/SC border – a short 37 minute drive (just long enough for one “Are we there yet?” from my seven-year old daughter, Hannah) from Myrtle Beach (specifically the cross-section of Hwy 544 and Hwy 31 in South Carolina). Indigo Farms offers a Produce Market that sells fresh vegetables, fruits, jams, and Blenheim Ginger Ale (made in South Carolina!); a Garden Center with various flowers, plants, gardening tools, and some natural pesticides; and my favorite: the Bakery, offering pies and cookies and eclairs, drinks, and more! The farm also offers seasonal activities like hay rides and night time bonfires, hay mazes, pig races, educational tours….and pick your own (PYO) strawberries and blueberries!
Strawberry picking season in this area is mainly around April and May, which we had missed this year (it being the middle of June). But I had never been blueberry picking and I was excited to try it! I checked Indigo Farms’ website early in the morning to find that the blueberry fields were only open from 8am-9:30am that day. The explanation they posted online was that their blueberry fields were not completely ripe yet and they didn’t want to open all of them and have customers pick unripe berries and go home with sour fruit. I called Kelly and packed up the van with my family (unfortunately my oldest son had to work and couldn’t join us).
Once we arrived at the farm we followed a muddy, dirt road that led behind the main building. My van bounced over tire tracks and slid a bit but we made it to the parking area, next to a field and blueberry stand, where there were at least a dozen cars parked.
Our first stop was the blueberry stand (most of my family wore flip flops, but I would recommend wearing some shoes you wouldn’t mind getting wet and dirty or some rubber boots) where we grabbed four buckets: one for my husband, Lee, one for my youngest son, Jacob, one for Hannah and myself, and one for Kelly. Other blueberry pickers encouraged us to walk past the first few rows of blueberry bushes in order to avoid the bushes that were well picked over. The dew and rain drops left over from the night before were dripping off the (freshly washed!) blueberries and we started looking for berries that were dark blue. Kelly encouraged us to find and pick the big ones for a sweet tasting berry. My husband and son made their way towards the end of the blueberry rows and picked from the tops of the bushes where it seemed other pickers hadn’t been able to reach.
Our buckets filled up pretty quickly. Kelly dared Jacob to try a white/unripe blueberry with her, and they both made sour faces. My husband and I tried one each as well. Now we know why we needed to pick the fat, blue ones. We combined our buckets to make one big bucket and left with $14 of blueberries! Yum! (I have already made fresh blueberry cobbler and homemade blueberry muffins with them!)
We walked around the farm and visited the animals that live there: goats (which you can feed by purchasing a handful of food for $0.25), roosters, hens, and guineas. We walked through the Garden Center and found some beautiful basil plants and ferns; and continued to check out Indigo Farms by visiting the Bakery where we purchased a cinnamon roll, eclair, tomato pie, and a raspberry tart square to share – each one was delicious! My husband wandered into the Produce Market while the rest of us were eating and came back with blackberries and an older lady (I believe it was Mary Bellamy who is one of the owners) who sliced one of their fresh peaches for us to try. Delicious! She told us about the deer who like to snack on the blueberries in the field and we had a delightful conversation with her!
After consuming the baked goods we all made our way to the Produce Market and bought some peaches, zucchini, and fried green tomato breading. They had magnificent eggplants (one of my favorite fruits) and the prices seemed cheaper than the produce section at the grocery store.
We spent a few hours at Indigo Farms, and it is definitely worth a day trip. Kelly and I are looking forward to returning this Fall to experience their bonfires and hay rides, as well as PYO blueberries and strawberries next year!
Cost: Varied prices depending on what you purchase
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