Late summer and fall are a wonderful time to pick fruits and vegetables in Northern Kentucky. From berries to pumpkins, family-owned farms have put out the green welcome mat.

Morning Glory

At Bright Star Acres in Demossville, you will find families with containers in hand gingerly picking. This summer they’ve had blueberries and blackberries available through July, though check its website for later availability and picking dates.

This is a labor of love for Toni and Vince Lovelace. Five years into it, their blueberries are still maturing and can trace their roots back to Michigan. Toni says, “Every crop depends on the weather and people don’t always understand that, unlike grocery stores, local produce is seasonal.”

They offer these picking tips:

- Pick berries early in the day. Berries are much sweeter the earlier they are picked.

- Pick only the largest, darkest fruit. Pale colored fruit is still ripening.

- Be prepared for the outdoors. All picking areas are mowed grass but can be wet from the morning dew.

- Bring a cooler to transport your berries home.

All in the Family

On a sprawling farm nestled between the rolling hills of Boone County and the Ohio River is where you’ll discover McGlasson Farms in Hebron.

Six generations of the McGlasson family have provided fresh produce and other products each July through November from their farm along scenic rural Route 8. Their roadside stand draws shoppers from all over the area and they offer several opportunities throughout the season to pick your own produce, such as mustard greens, turnips and pumpkins in the fall. Returning to their farmstand, you can purchase a wide variety of produce including green beans, peaches, peppers, tomatoes and sweet corn. Their cider house stays busy in September and October making fresh cider from apples grown on the farm and is available for purchase.

Ginny McGlasson suggests checking their website for available items and pick-your-own dates. They also host a Fall Music Festival every weekend in October featuring Jake Speed and the Freddies and other acts.

More Picking

If “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” you’ll be covered at Ayres Family Orchard in Owenton. Owner Larry Ayres has been growing apples, peaches and other fruit at this hillside orchard since 1983. Currently they grow more than 40 varieties of apples and have seasonal picking opportunities. The ripening schedule on the website will keep you informed of what they have available July through October. Traditionally, September offers up Honey Crisp, Cortland and Golden Delicious Apples.

Burlington’s Real McCoy’s Farm and Recreation Club practices sustainable farming to grow produce and also features a paid fishing lake, U-pick vegetable patches and wooded scenery along Woolper Creek. A self-guided walking tour offers an educational experience for everyone. Call ahead for hours of operation.

Fryman Farms (also in Burlington) has seasonal strawberries and other berries available to pick (check in advance for availability). In addition, it offers cage-free eggs, fresh raw honey, and hormone-free pasture-raised freezer meats.

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