Blueberry season will arrive soon on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Supermarkets' produce sections will be filled with cartons of the juicy berries, but there's no real comparison to going to a farm and picking your own. There are several you-pick farms in the six South Mississippi counties of the state.
Be sure to take cash, wear comfortable shoes and bring your own water and containers just in case. And definitely call or check Facebook pages before you go to make sure the berries are ripe. Don't see your you-pick blueberry farm listed here? Give us a call: 228-896-2130 or 228-896-2100.
Blue Tara Organic Blueberry Farm — 257 Langnacker Road, Poplarville; 601-795-0034. Tentative you-pick start date: June 1. Hours: sunup to sundown, seven days a week. Cost: $11 gallon you-pick, $15 pre-picked. Other sizes and prices available; see website. Cash or check only. Golf carts available with advance notice for those physically challenged.
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Blueberry Bluephoria at Toft Farms LLC — 12147 Road 267, Carriere; 985-788-8254. Tentative you-pick start date: May 18. Hours: sunup to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to dusk recommended, seven days a week. Cost: $10 you-pick, $17 pre-picked and packaged, $20 delivered (call for details). Cafe with air conditioning and restroom. Owner prefers to receive a call on when customers are coming and how many.
Blueberry Heaven — 16705 Old Kelly Road, Vancleave; 228-826-5321. Tentative you-pick start date: Memorial Day if enough rain between now and then, otherwise June 1. Season usually runs Memorial Day to July 4. Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $10 gallon you-pick, $20 pre-picked if available; cash only.
Dannemann Farm LLC — 19069 Blueberry Hill Road, Kiln; 228-255-5979. Tentative picking date: June 2-30, 2018. Hours: 7 a.m.-noon and 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Cost: $8 gallon, cash only, change can be made for bills $20 and under. Buckets provided for picking.
Double S Farms — 20295 Miss. 53, Gulfport; 228-234-9845. Tentative you-pick start date: Latter part of the month, perhaps May 20. Hours: daylight-dark Monday-Saturday. Cost: $8 gallon; cash only.
Pearl River Blues Berry Farm — 24 Curt Rester Road, Lumberton; 601-796-9788. Tentative you-pick start date: Late May or first week in June. Hours: 7 a.m.-sunset, seven days a week. Cost: $12 gallon, or bring your own container and save $1; cash or check only.
Spring Lake Berry Farm — 17100 Spring Lake Drive E., Vancleave; 228-826-4682. Tentative you-pick start date: First week in June. Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Cost: $10 gallon; cash or check.
There also are two annual events dedicated to celebrating blueberries.
The Blueberry Jubilee is scheduled June 9 in downtown Poplarville on Main Street. The annual celebration of blueberries features arts and crafts, storytelling, live entertainment, plenty of food and Southern hospitality. Call 601-795-0578 or visit blueberryjubilee.org for details.
The Red, White & Blueberry Festival at the Ocean Springs Fresh Market is scheduled June 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the L&N Depot Plaza in Ocean Springs. Presented by the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, the annual celebration features food, music and, of course, blueberries.