Pick Your Own Fruit
Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee has quite a few u-pick farms for visitors and locals to enjoy. These incredible family-owned businesses produce everything from strawberries to kale to pumpkins to blueberries throughout the year.
One of the most popular u-pick farms in Hernando County is JG Ranch. Located in Brooksville, it is mainly known for its u pick-berries, including strawberries (November to April), blueberries (April to May), and blackberries (May to June). Just be warned, once you start picking these fresh, juicy berries, you just won’t want to stop! As an added (and lesser-known) bonus, JG ranch also has u-pick kale, cabbage, jalapenos, eggplant, and cauliflower, so that you can stock on your veggies, too!
Nearby, Upicktopia, located in Masaryktown, FL, grows u-pick strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, pumpkins, kale, beets, lettuce, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and so much more, depending on the season. A recent addition to the farm is “Farm to Fork” brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
While the farms with a wide variety of u-pick produce are lots of fun, Florida’s Adventure Coast also has a few others specializing in just one fruit. As their names imply, Margo’s Blueberry Farm and Spring Lake Blueberry Farm have u-pick blueberry opportunities in April and May. And Bramble Creek Farm welcomes visitors for u-pick blackberries in May and June.
Make Your Jam or Jelly
While you can certainly eat all of the fresh fruit you picked as is, why not turn it into delicious jam or jelly! Everyone’s favorites are strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry jams. The best yet? You can learn to make your own jam or jelly while vacationing.
Florida’s Adventure Coast is home to Little Rock Cannery, one of only two working canneries in Florida! Located in Brooksville, Little Rock Cannery has been canning goods since the 1970s!
Today, you can learn how to can your own produce at one of Little Rock Cannery’s canning classes, typically around $30-$45 and with multiple dates to choose from. While the fruit is provided for the cannery’s three-hour jam-making classes, you can take the skills you learn and apply them to your own freshly picked fruits at home!
Sip on Blueberry Wine
Although jelly and jam are the most popular products to make with freshly picked blueberries, they certainly aren’t the only options. You can also make blueberry wine!
Since wine takes a while to make, you won’t be able to make it yourself during your getaway. Luckily, a couple of blueberry wineries in town have already done the job for you!
Masaryk Winery, an off-shoot of Upicktopia, specializes specifically in berry-based wines. Their blueberry wines are their most popular offerings. Try either the dry or sweet oak-aged blueberry wine or the combination of blackberry and blueberry wine for a new flavorful twist. All of them are fruity and delicious!
Make a day-tour and visit Sparacia Witherell Family Winery & Vineyards. Located atop Snow Hill just outside Brooksville, you’ll find a family-run winery featuring both grape and fruit-based wines. Enjoy a wine tasting, sit on the patio, and watch a sunset while enjoying your favorite wine, or visit on weekends when they offer live music and rotating food trucks for a full day of fun.
The Brooksville Blueberry Festival Returns!
One of the most significant agritourism events on Florida’s Adventure Coast is the famous Brooksville Blueberry Festival. While this event was paused during the pandemic, it’s back for 2022!
As the name implies, the Brooksville Blueberry Festival has just about every blueberry product under the sun. Blueberry jam, blueberry wine, blueberry pie, blueberry soap, blueberry honey, and blueberry beer are the start of the festival’s berry-focused treats.
And while blueberries are the highlight of the festival, there are also other activities at this beautiful and family-friend event. First, many different food and drink vendors, including fancy wine bars and the new craft beer garden. Then, there is the variety of entertainment options. You can listen to live music, watch the cowboy circus, and keep an eye out for street entertainers while shopping and exploring over 200 vendors. In other words, you can easily spend hours enjoying everything that the Brooksville Blueberry Festival has to offer.
Last but certainly not least, if you don’t want to leave the blueberries behind, you don’t have to! You can simply purchase a blueberry bush, or two, at the Brooksville Blueberry Festival to plant at home! You’ll be able to enjoy these sweet, juicy berries every single year!