By Cecelia Wilken, Current ASU Nutrition Student
One of my fondest childhood memories was heading up to Dewey, Arizona and adventuring through the Mortimer Farm pumpkin patch every October. Since then I’ve shared that tradition with my own family. Every year we go to family farms, pick out our pumpkins, go on hayrides, get lost in corn mazes, eat funnel cake and load up on freshly picked fruits and vegetables straight from the field. For me and my family, it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.
A picture of my daughter at a pumpkin patch.
But even though pumpkin patch season has come and gone there are many opportunities to visit farms year-round! And you are not limited to just picking pumpkins!
The U-Pick movement is growing and many family farms around Arizona are opening their fields to the public. Produce like apples, citrus, berries, flowers and seasonal fruits and vegetables can be picked right from the farm fields and brought home.
Picking your own produce has lots of advantages. Produce picked yourself is often fresher than what you get in the grocery store, it helps support local businesses and families and keeps Arizona’s economy strong, and freshly picked produce is often less expensive and can be bought in bulk for discounted prices! Plus, visiting a farm is always fun and makes a great weekend activity for the family!
Here is a list of U-Pick Farms around Arizona:
12907 E. State Route 169
Dewey, AZ 86327
Mortimer Farms is famous around Arizona and is the farm I visited as a child with my own parents. The fully-operational family farm is open year-round, holds seasonal events like Breakfast with Santa, corn mazes and nighttime campfires in addition to offering U-Pick produce like blueberries, strawberries, fresh flowers and seasonal vegetables. You can also order fresh turkey (pre-cooked or oven ready) and baked goods from Mortimer Farms that are perfect for holiday tables. Visit their website for more details!
4610 South Rittenhouse Road
Queen Creek, Arizona 85142
Schnepf Farms has a seasonal U-Pick garden that is always open to the public. They offer produce like squash, eggplant, collard greens, peppers, tomatoes and even lavender. Peaches are also available, but in limited quantities usually around the beginning of May. Additionally, they have a country store that sells fresh baked goods like pies and offer seasonal events like their Winter Wonderland that includes an ice skating, hay rides to see deer, a holiday train and a farm park starting December 6th. They also hold a Peach Blossom Celebration (February 2019), a 4th of July event, and during October, a zombie paintball hayride! Visit their website for more details.
Fenway Park Orchards:
42610 Highway 60-89
Morristown, AZ 85342
Fenway Park Orchards offers U-Pick options like grapes, peaches, and apples. They have over 1,000 fruit trees. Picking seasons vary so be sure to contact them before planning a trip out there.
Mother Nature’s Farm
1663 E. Baseline RD.
Gilbert, AZ 85233 480-892-5874
Mother Nature’s Farm is in Gilbert and is a great family-friendly farm. They offer lots of fresh produce and seasonal decorations at their market, pumpkin patches and mazes during October, snow days and Christmas tree picking in November and December and have a petting zoo! Visit their website for more details.
5726 N. 75th Ave.
Glendale, AZ. 85303
The Glendale farm offers a seasonal produce stand year-round and U-Pick options during the month of July. All their u-pick produce is $1.75/pound excluding watermelon and corn, but they have a wide range of produce available. Call them at 602-999-3276 for more details They also have seasonal events like a corn maze, and spooky field of screams from September through October and Christmas events like a Santa on the Farm event and fresh Christmas trees available for purchase.
4011 S. Power Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85212
Vertuccio Farms is an adorable family friendly farm with lots to offer. During the holiday season, they have a Lights on the Farm event and corn mazes, a full Fall Festival during the autumn season and many more events throughout the year. For more information visit their website or contact them by phone at 480-650-6606 or 480-650-6611.
Photo Courtesy of Vertuccio Farms
There are so many great family farms open to the public around Arizona. Many of them are closer than you think! Consider planning a trip to one of these great farms to help support local business!
For more U-Pick options around Arizona visit the U-Pick Farm map here:
The Arizona Agritourism Map is put together with information from Local First’s Good Food Finder and the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate Farm Product Search.
*** Fill Your Plate and the author are not affiliated with these farms.