We are in the middle of blueberry season here in Connecticut. I love blueberries and I especially love farms that offer pick-your-own; blueberry picking has become one of my favorite summertime activities. While we have picked blueberries at some great farms (including our local favorite at Easy Pickins in Enfield), this year we decided to scope out a new blueberry orchard. Because, that’s what we do here at This Connecticut Mom.
I’ve lived in Connecticut for 15 years now, and only last year did I hear about Auerfarm. However, the farm has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. It’s been a part of the Bloomfield and Connecticut farming culture for a long time – yet it seems to be a hidden gem to many people here in Connecticut.
Since I didn’t know much about Auerfarm or their blueberry PYO, I did some online investigation. However, even I had trouble finding information. I’m usually the Google searching queen; and it was tough to find out what the whole experience would entail. I dragged my husband along since this was one of those adventures I couldn’t fully prepare for. I assumed since it was a farm that we would need to bring water and cash; we had sneakers on; and most importantly, we all pottied before we left. Many farms don’t have bathrooms – I have learned that the hard way!
Auerfarm’s address is listed as 158 Auer Farm Road on their website. Surprisingly, my ancient GPS got us there with no problem. The farm is near the Avon/West Hartford line. Auer Farm Road is off of Simsbury Road (and just right after the intersection with Mountain Road). It’s pretty straightforward to get to.
The entrance to Auerfarm is marked pretty clearly and they had not one, but TWO big banners letting you know it was time for PYO blueberry season!
My first surprise (which shouldn’t really be a surprise, because it’s a farm) was the bumpy dirt road you travel down! I mean farms are synonymous with dirt roads. However, you are on this road for a while. Auerfarm is HUGE. There are 120 acres of farmland. You’ll find the blueberry orchard way in the back. There are also animals, farmhouses (yes, people live here on Auer Farm Road), and their 4H Education Center (I’ll explain that further down). The farm offers amazing views of rolling pastures and farmland.
Blueberry PYO is open from dawn to dusk on the farm. These are not your typical farm hours. When I was trying to decide where to pick this year, we were running into issues with timing. With camp and work, we couldn’t start until after 1 p.m. But with this heat, who wants to pick at the hottest time of the day? I certainly did not! However, most farms only have hours until 5 p.m. (at the latest). Many even close in the early afternoon.
We packed up and headed to Auer Farm at 7 p.m.!!! (Dusk was not until 9 p.m. that night, in case you were wondering). PYO at that time of night is amazing! It was not busy, it was not hot and the bugs weren’t out just yet. However, because it was so late, the rest of Auerfarm was pretty much closed.
They have a whole barnyard of animals. We missed those. We caught a few alpacas. Or are they llamas? I never know the difference. I just know they are not camels as my son proclaimed! Just know that if you visit during their working hours, you should make plans to check out the animals!
Auerfarm is also home to the Auerfarm 4H Education Center. In 1976, the farm was given to the Connecticut 4H with the agreement that they would “maintain the property as open space and provide a community resource where children and families learned about and enjoyed the ambiance of the farm”. Auerfarm 4H Education Center offers the 4H Club for children ages 8 to 18. They also have summer camp; family and adult programs; farm to school programs; birthday parties; and seasonal events and programs including their popular fall fest as well as family programs to learn about apple pressing, maple sugaring and more. We also missed this since it was after hours.
Right in front of the Auerfarm 4H Center, you will actually find the map of the farm. The animal barns and sugar house are located in this area along with their educational buildings. You’ll also find bathrooms in this area (when the buildings are open). There is also hiking on the farm’s property and they offer a detailed map of the trails.
You’ll also find a sign for the blueberry orchard. Throughout the drive, there are smaller signs that point you towards the orchard; at this point, we were almost there so this helped us figure out where to park!
We finally reached the blueberries!
The parking area is noted with a sign.
So, the first thing you’ll notice when you approach the blueberries is that there is no one manning the area. You are pretty much on your own. They have a big sign with their prices, pint containers to grab and a locked cash box. The locked cash box obviously accepts cash only. So make sure you bring real money (sorry no Ipay or debit cards)!! This is completely on the honor system so no cheating!
The blueberries are $3.50 per pint. You can fill that blue box as much as you want for just $3.50. There are plenty of boxes so grab as many as you need! Whatever you don’t use, just make sure you put it back.
Once you have your containers ready, you can head right into the orchard.
The entrance is a little confusing but it’s located right by the red wagon and is marked with a white sign. You’ll need to pull back the green fencing. As you can see, the orchard is completely enclosed. No, this is not to keep your children caged in (although, added benefit!) but rather it keeps the blueberry eating birds and critters out.
There are a lot of blueberry bushes inside! They are in neat rows that you can roam up and down.
They are also on the shorter side which is nice when you have a 40-inch picking companion!
We found some of the bluest berries towards the back. There were so many blueberries to pick. I found myself grabbing a handful from each bush as I walked by. I easily filled up three pints.
The berries are NOT sprayed with any chemicals and that made me feel a little less guilty as my child roamed the orchard eating possibly an entire pint worth of blueberries straight from the bushes. He didn’t even try to act guilty when he was caught in the act.
After about 30 minutes of peaceful, pre-dusk picking, we headed out of the orchard to pay for our berries and get our blueberry-eating monster away from the bushes. We also rounded up and added a few extra bucks to the box to cover the cost of all the blueberries he ate during those 30 minutes! And continued to eat even after we were out… I think I lost half a pint on the walk to the car.
Our evening at the blueberry orchard had come to an end and we headed out. We enjoyed the drive through the farm on our way out especially as night fell. We loved picking blueberries at Auerfarm! We definitely will be back to check out their family programs at the 4H Center.
If you are planning to pick blueberries this summer, I definitely recommend trying out Auerfarm!
This about sums it up…
158 Auer Farm Road – Bloomfield, Connecticut
Hours for Blueberry PYO:
Daily: Dawn to Dusk
Blueberry season is usually throughout all of July (but can vary by season)
- Pick your own blueberries
- Family friendly
- Cash only – honor system
- Blueberries are sold by the pint
- Strollers can be difficult to maneuver in orchard
- Blueberry orchard is completely enclosed
- Sunny (it is a farm!)
- Small parking area by orchard; overflow down the road
- 4H Center on site with animal barns during business hours
- Bathrooms located at 4H Center (open during business hours)
- Hiking trails
- Classes and programs for families; summer camp; birthday parties