One of today's earlier posts notes that chef and slow-food promoter Jasper Mirabile changes up his recipes depending on what berries are in season.
Currently it's prime blueberry-picking time, and almost blackberry season, too. Last week Fat City highlighted the large blueberry farm called the Berry Patch, but it's far from the only place for ripe picking.
The definitive source for information is the Web site PickYourOwn.org. Although it looks as if it was designed in 1998, it contains weekly updates on all areas of the U.S. as well as an exhaustive list of farms by state and county. Besides the Berry Patch in Cass County is Johnson Farms, Plants and Pumpkins (17701 Holmes, Belton) which, come fall, has pumpkins, zucchini and Indian corn.
For readers up north, Duncan's Berry Farm (908 County Road F) is an obvious choice. It's only several years old but has already had a successful blackberry crop and plans to open right after the Fourth.
Also opening soon is Gieringer's Orchard in Edgerton, Kansas (39675 W. 183rd). In addition to blackberries, it has peaches, tomatoes and sweet corn. While it's currently scheduled to open after July 1, that date will change if the peaches aren't ripe enough yet.
Remember that berry-picking isn't just about eating great berries and making delicious pies. It also helps local farmers, makes an informative day trip for kids and (I've heard) a great first date.