Now’s the time to pick your own berries, peaches, peppers — and garlic?
Indeed, Mickey Harley’s idea of fun includes blueberries, garlic and yoga — not necessarily in that order or at the same time.
Still, they are all active ingredients in his 30-acre Southold farm.
Harley, a Wall Street retiree, owns Bhavana Blueberries, said to be the North Fork’s first commercial blueberry farm. Harley is among the farm owners shaking up his midseason U-pick options to include more than just berries.
Although the majority of the property is devoted to the indigo-colored flowering plants, what separates the farm from other bucolic businesses is that customers can pluck garlic straight from the ground.
“I think it’s just a great experience to get it naturally as opposed to at the supermarket,” says Rose Garrisi, of Baiting Hollow, who was picking her own on a Sunday in July. “And you can see how it’s grown.”
The garlic crop is accessible through September. Varieties include Bulgarian garlic, which has a purple tint and potent flavor, and elephant garlic, which is typically much larger than the average bulb sold at grocery stores. Each costs $6 per pound.
Picking it, Harley says, is relatively simple: Dig a shovel six to eight inches from the stalk (to avoid chopping through the bulb) and use a bucket to carry your finds.
Harley attributes the popularity of his garlic crop to its universal appeal. Garlic resonates with a wide range of cultures and cuisines, the Massapequa native says.
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use garlic in their cooking,” Harley says.
Elsewhere on the property, visitors can pick several kinds of blueberries on bushes that are low to the ground, or choose their own sunflowers, peas and shallots. Harley also runs yoga classes in a renovated barn.
Patty’s Berries & Bunches
Patty’s Berries & Bunches is a 40-acre farm grows 24 varieties of berries. U-pick options include blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, 410 Sound Ave., Mattituck INFO 631-298-4679, pattysberriesandbunches.com
Meaghan Harley of Amityville holds a handful of organic, hand-picked blueberries at Bhavana Blueberries. WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Aug. 30 with U-pick blueberries, garlic, French shallots, peas and sunflowers. 4395 Horton’s Lane, Southold INFO 631-506-9490, bhavanaberries.com
Windy Acres Farm
Ely Almonte, of Mastic, his son Matthew, 6, and their dog, Jada, spend some time picking their favorite apples at Windy Acres Farm, which also offers U-pick raspberries. WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, 3810 Middle Country Rd., Calverton INFO 631-727-4554
Cooper Farms market stocks the same wide range of fruits and vegetables that are available for U-pickers: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, beets, okra, watermelon, potatoes and peppers. WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m.-sunset daily, 2200 Breakwater Rd., Mattituck INFO 631-276-6215
Phoenix Pappas, 1, of Nesconset, picks an apple with the help of her brother Dylan, 8, at Lewin Farms. This one-stop produce shop has U-pick summer berries, plus peaches, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. U-pick daily (closed Tuesdays), 812 Sound Ave., Calverton INFO 631-929-4327, lewinfarm.com
Wickham’s Fruit Farm
Wickham’s Fruit Farm
You can pick your own blueberries, blackberries and peaches. WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 28700 Route 25, Cutchogue INFO 631-734-6441, wickhamsfruitfarm.com
Lenny Bruno Farms
Joaquin Lucero, 2, of East Patchogue, searches for pumpkins at Lenny Bruno Farms. Whether you prefer your peppers sweet, hot, long or short, this farm, which has been a staple for more than 90 years, opens in mid-August for U-pick crops including eggplant (black and little finger), peppers (bell, long hots, cheese, hot cherry, sweet cherry, fryers and white), tomatoes and flat beans. WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 740 Wading River Rd., Manorville INFO 631-591-3592, lennybrunofarms.com