I would love to find a good orchard near Seattle to go cherry picking with my kids. I am willing to drive 2-3 hours. My goal is to buy tons of (ideally organic) cherries to make jam. I would be fun if there was a bit more than just cherry picking – a petting zoo, hay ride or farm tour would be icing on the cake.
We’re fortunate to have some of the juiciest cherries in the world in Eastern Washington, and there’s nothing tastier than a cherry you’ve just picked yourself. Get your cherry pitter ready, because I found some great options for cherry picking not far from Seattle in the Yakima Valley!
One popular U-pick orchard for juicy bing and beautiful rainier cherries is Barrett Orchards (transitioning to organic)(1209 Pecks Canyon Road – Yakima, (509) 966-1275). U-pick will launch here around June 26 and continue for 2 weeks or so. Barrett hosts its popular annual Cherry Festival the weekend of July 7/8 – come for the U-pick and stay for the hayrides, live music, pit-spitting contest, ice cream, lemonade and more.
Another spot is Bill’s Berry Farm (organic) (3674 N. County Line Road, Grandview, 509-882-3200). Their Cherry Festival is a bit earlier, the weekend of June 29/30. Ride their haywagon out to the orchard, followed up by a BBQ lunch and a fresh cherry donut. They’ve even got a petting zoo.
Last year, my pals at Travellious took off to Eastern Washington to seek out places to u-pick cherries and more harvest-time diversions in the Yakima Valley. Check out the story of their cherry-filled day trip here.
By the way, the best online informational resource for finding U-pick farms year-round in Washington is pickyourown.org. It’s updated regularly, though I would love to see them improve the user interface a bit – it’s tricky to find what you’re looking for but keep digging.
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photo by sean dreilinger via Flickr creative commons.