The berries are ripe and ready for harvest out at the Smith Creek Blueberry patch. Open Saturday and Sunday's 8 am - 7 pm through July and possibly into August.
This past weekend opened up the harvest for Blueberries with local residents making their way out Smith Creek to grab a few handfuls of the ample berries at the Smith Creek U-Pick Blueberry Patch.
Abel and Ravenel Staricka are into their ninth season as the latest owners of the Smith Creek Family Hobby Farm and utilize the one-acre Blueberry patch to allow residents to stop in and take a few buckets full of berries as a u-pick patch.
"The "you pick" has been informally running for the past quarter century. I have heard people talk about coming out here for the past thirty years," said Abel Staricka.
The patch or thicket, as Staricka refers to the one-acre plot of various blueberries is a mix of mostly Bluecrop berries with a few Olympia and a few unidentified others.
"The Bluecrop are large and tasty, easy to pick. The Olympia's are a little smaller, but sweeter, close to a Huckleberry. There are also a few random bushes in there as well," tells Staricka.
The couple has been paying closer attention to the crop getting it back to as close to an organic garden as they can with proper pruning and no artificial assistance. Having a landscaping business in Seattle, Staricka has been taking some of the crops grown from the hobby farm to clients up north, but has recently re-focused his farm to assist more with the local residents in mind.
"We also run a small CSA with the crops that we grow here on the farm. The Community Supported Agriculture is a way to help others in the area, share the harvest and help increase what we farm here."
A visit to the Smith Creek Blueberry Patch is well worth a couple of hours depending on how many berries you wish to reap. The farm also has chickens, bees and a lazy turtle. But don't let that stop you as you will get a good deal at $2 a pound if you pick them or $4 a pound if you just wish to drop by and pick up a few pounds.
For those wishing to travel out the Smith Creek to have a try at picking a few berries it is suggested that prime time is early Saturday, but there is still plenty seasoned fruit on the bush on Sunday. The farm allows the crop to recover during the week so that when open at 8 am on Saturday through possibly mid-August, the berries will be at their peak and ready to roll off the branches.
"We were able to open early this year because of the unexpected sunshine, and we hope that we will be able to offer the berries through mid August. We stay open until 7 pm on both Saturday and Sunday."
This past weekend they also had some entertainment with live music from Virgil Stortroen and Shoalwater Pottery was on hand with a few artisan cups, bowls and plates to help serve your delicious berries.
The farm is also looking to increase what they grow and become a larger part of the community and is looking for your feedback. The recent social media site on Facebook, Smith Creek Blueberry Farm is the way to get your message to them and keeps the local community informed of about the current blueberry-picking season.
"We are looking at other types of fruits and vegetables as well. Anything that the local community has an interest in" said Straicka.
Among some of the other fruits the farm has been trying to grow are goumi berries, known as a super fruit among other types of fruits and vegetables that are adaptable to the Willapa Harbor area.
There is still time to grab a bucket full of blueberries out at Smith Creek.