One of the most enchanting outings on a beautiful day is a family trip to the you-pick farm. From lovingly searching for the most perfect fruits to that first juicy bite, nothing quite compares to the experience of picking your own produce.
We are fortunate to have a long harvest season for fruit picking near Knoxville. Our season begins in early spring with strawberries and ends in late fall with apples. This means we have an excellent opportunity to support our local farmers throughout most of the year.
Not only are u-pick farms fun to visit, but they also help kids learn about how food grows.
As you meander through the fields and orchards, there’s no doubt that you will see many bees and butterflies pollinating neighboring crops and flowers. You may also see the farmers watering and picking fruit to sell at the markets.
Embrace these opportunities for learning.
While at the farm, don’t rush. Allow your kids plenty of time to explore and observe. And of course, talk about what you’re seeing.
Towards the bottom of this page, you’ll find a variety of farm-themed books you can pair with your trip, to help make the learning more meaningful.
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Fruit Picking Harvest Dates
- Strawberries – Mid-April through Mid-June
- Peaches – June through Mid-September
- Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries – Mid-July through August
- Grapes – Mid-July through Mid-September
- Apples – Mid-July through early November
- Pumpkins – September through October
U-Pick Strawberry Farms
Since the strawberry harvest season begins in early spring, these farms tend to be muddy from all the rain. For comfort, wear water-resistant shoes (if possible) and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
Strawberry plants are short with wide leaves. To find the best berries, you may have to gently pull the leaves back to look underneath.
Though you may see some white strawberries in your store-bought cartons, you should only pick fully-red strawberries at the farm. Berries with patches of white haven’t fully ripened and won’t be as sweet or flavorful as berries that are allowed to finish ripening on the vine.
Click here to view all the farms for strawberry picking in Knoxville TN.
Pick-Your-Own Blueberry Farms
Many of our local blueberry farms also offer blackberries and raspberries. Since their harvest seasons overlap you may be able to pick a variety of fruit in one trip.
Blueberry bushes are very tall and very wide. The top of the bush may even be over your head. Blueberries grow in clusters, but not every berry in the bunch will ripen at the same time.
To fill your basket, you will most likely have to search for berries on several different bushes.
Click here to view all the farms for blueberry picking in Knoxville TN.
Whether you’re an expert winemaker or just want a tasty snack, we have plenty of vineyards to choose from. The vast majority of farms grow muscadines. Keep an eye out for our grape picking article, which is coming soon.
U-Pick Pumpkin Farms
Depending on the pumpkin farm, pumpkin size may vary. Some farms include carving pumpkins with their admission, while others only include a smaller pie-sized pumpkin.
Some farms offer an even wider variety of u-pick choices including gourds, winter squash, and more!
In addition to fruits, most of the farms offer tons of exciting activities like hayrides, playgrounds, petting zoos, corn mazes, and bounce houses. A few even offer haunted corn mazes at night.
Click here to view all pumpkin patches in Knoxville TN.
Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchards
Apples have one of the longest harvest seasons of all our local fruits. If you want to visit all the fruit picking farms you possibly can, save the apples for last. You can even find apples in early November, so there is no rush.
East TN offers a variety of delicious apple varieties including Honeycrisp, Mutsu, Fuji, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and many, many more!
Click here to view all the u-pick apple orchards in East TN.
Buffalo Trail Orchard is the only farm that offers peach picking near Knoxville.