At the conjunction of Walcott Lane and Calle Girasol in Temecula, a small narrow road to the north transports you to a picturesque farmstead with manicured rows of verdant shrubs. What’s amazing about these bushes is that, upon closer inspection, you’ll find thousands of blueberries readying for the harvest. And that harvest is a brief 6 – 8 week period from May to July.
“Blueberries are not native to this area,” says owner and farmer, Mike Graesser. “They are generally found in more northern climates like Oregon and Maine.” Mike’s father, Ray Graesser, planted the bushes in 2001 on his 12-acre parcel near the wine country. They had their first harvest several years later and have transformed their property into a truly educational and interactive experience.
Called “U-pick Blueberries,” parents and children can walk along the rows and fill their buckets during the harvest season. It costs five dollars per pint and the Graesser’s provide colorful quart (two pint) buckets for public use. In season, the farm is open seven days a week (from 8 am to 6 pm) and, unless you’re arriving with a classroom or scout troop, no reservations are required. Wednesday is designated for home- and preschoolers to come learn, pick, and see the old red farm tractor parked on the property.
In addition to picking your own blueberries, every Friday they will have fresh blueberry pies available made locally from Great Harvest Bread Company. In the evening, Mike and company will be showing family movies outdoors on the side of the farmhouse free of charge. Bring your own chairs and blankets – it’ll be a great time for the kids. Finally, on Tuesday mornings at 9:15, there will be story time with Nana (Mike’s mother, Mrs. Graesser), situated among the hundreds of colorful irises planted on the property.
The Temecula Berry Company is a tasteful little gem right here in the Valley that you certainly can’t miss! The berries are grown organically with loving care and presented to the public from a dedicated and hard-working farming family.
Find the Temecula Berry Company at temeculaberryco.com