By Kelly Youngblood
Craving some fresh, delicious blueberries? Skip the grocery store produce and head a little further out of town for a great U-pick blueberry experience that’s just a 20-minute drive from Champaign.
Goosecreek Blueberries, which is located northwest of Monticello, officially opened on June 16. From what I hear, the blueberry picking season is very short (like a week) so if you’re thinking about coming out for a visit, you might want to do so as soon as possible.
My kids and I showed up on opening day, just an hour after they officially opened for the season. There was already a decent crowd of people out picking by the time we arrived, but luckily, there were plenty of blueberries to go around that day.
The patch, which is only in its second year of operation, was a bit tricky for us to find- my GPS didn’t seem to know where I was going. But after asking a local resident directions, we quickly found the farm.
Their Facebook page offers these directions: If you’re coming from Champaign on I-72, take Bridge St. exit. Then turn right. This is the Deland Rd. Go 2 miles, turn right onto Co. Farm Rd., then the first 2 left turns. We have 2 blueberry flags that you’ll see when u arrive.
Or if you’re a person who fancies maps, you can check this out. (map)
There is no set schedule at Goosecreek Blueberries. The day we went, the owner happened to be on site but it was opening day. The patch is always open (until its closed for the season) and operates on an honor system.
People can come out and pick whenever, weigh the blueberries themselves, and leave the money in a coffee can on the table.
They provide buckets for collecting blueberries, bags to take them home in, a tent for shade and water bottles.
After filling up your buckets (one bucket holds five pounds of blueberries), you weigh it on a hanging scale. The cost is $2.50 per pound.
We spent about an hour there and between my three kids we ended up with just under two pounds of blueberries for a total of $5.
My kids, who are 6, 9, and 11, really enjoyed the experience. Of course, they had to compete to see who could get the biggest one or the most blueberries.
But I think I was actually the winner of the day- it kept them busy for an hour, the blueberries were super cheap, and we brought home enough to make a delicious pie.
Goosecreek Blueberries opened June 16 and will likely only be open for about a week before they are all picked out. Then it will close while the other blueberries ripen. It will then reopen for a short time after that.
They take cash and checks. There are no restrooms on site and parking is mostly along the side of the road. I saw some moms there with wagons. I’m guessing heavy-duty strollers could be manageable there too.
Don’t forget sunscreen and hats. We went early so the heat wasn’t too bad but it was definitely sunny. I didn’t notice an issue with bugs either but we were there in the morning.
The ground wasn’t very rugged so sandals worked okay for us. They do leave a cooler out with water bottles even when they aren’t there but you may want to bring extra in case the cooler is empty.
Looking for other area pick your blueberries near Champaign-Urbana? We have a guide for that.