Blueberry Picking at Cloud 9 Farm

The patch is OPEN for summer 2024!
Meet Janet by coming on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday through the month of July and August. Once you are vetted you may return to pick any day from 8 am-8 pm with instructions for Honor system on the table..

If you have picked here before, and know Janet by sight, then you can start picking using the Honor system. We take cash, checks or Venmo or Paypal.

This hot weather is bring the berries on strong…so sweet.

$15/gallon or $8 for half gallon

Eyeball measurements. Pick in plastic strawberry baskets or the gallon, cutoff milk jugs provided with a rope for around your waist. Bring your own bowls to pour into at the end and carry your berries home.

Facilities & Rules

  • Bring a container to put your berries in to take home. We pick in cut-out gallon milk jugs tied around the waist. A gallon is considered up to the top, but if you move it and the berries spill out, then you have overfilled and owe a couple bucks more. OR if you ate plenty in the field or your kids did…then through in a couple more bucks.
  • If you have any rinsed out milk/water/tea jugs, we can always use more to freshen up our stock.
  • The season begins the last week of June and goes through the last day of July and sometimes into August. It is always best to check the picking schedule page that keeps updated.
  • Prices are $15/gallon (which is about 5 pounds). Cash, Venmo, Paypal or check.
  • Can you walk on uneven gound? We have rolling to level terrain that is kept mowed. The grass is dewey in the morning so wear waterproof shoes.
  • Bring your own water as we do not have any source for drinking water here.
  • We do have a Port-O-Potty at the entrance parking lot and a green painted, out-house at the bottom of the patch.
  • Two picnic tables are in the shade under the blueberry house roof that you can use.
  • We do not spray any pesticides on our plants or berries because we value the native pollinator population and our own honey bees that help make our crop. Besides, we believe you should be able to trust fruit right off the bush as you do the taste test to determine which ones to pick!
  • Well-behaved children only. Please consider the peace of the other pickers. You must keep your children with you as there are ponds and creeks and poison ivy they could wander into. Our liability insurance is for the patch area only.
  • NO DOGS in the patch.
  • We keep your safety in mind but, as always, be aware of your surroundings.

WARNING: Under North Carolina law, there is no liability for an injury to or death of a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this agritourism location if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of the agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include, among others, risks of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals, as well as the potential for you to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.

History

This patch was created out of an old corn field in 1967 as a hobby farm for the newly-retired father and mother Peterson to have something to do! After all, the Peterson grandfather raised strawberries and trees in the early 1900s in Minnesota, thus instilling the love of the land.

By 1974, every row in the 4 acre patch was planted and thriving as a U-pick Blueberry patch open to the public by appointment. This patch provided and provides today, the good feeling of purposeful living.

Perspective from Janet, the daughter, “My husband and I took it over in 1996, relieving my 88-year-old father, and, blindly, not realizing all the work involved! He continued to do much of the mowing up ’til the age of 91. I have spent time since restoring the patch to its former glory and meeting the challenge of weeds, frosts, drought and sometimes, too much rain.”

The patch continues to serve over 70 families for their U-Pick needs and has seen 3 generations of pickers experience where food comes from. There is nothing like the sweet smell of blueberry blossoms in the spring enlivening the bare shrubs drawing the honey bees and native pollinators to the flowers for a bountiful blue crop in late June, July and August.

Some bushes you are picking on are over 50 years old! But most have been taken out. We transitioned from Northern Highbush to the Rabbit Eye variety in 2005. The berries are not as fragile, flavor is good, the bushes are hardier and the season is longer. They grow in drought and rain conditions easier than the temperamental Northern Highbush. On the con side, pruning is way more difficult and they grow so tall. So the jury is still out on whether we like them better or not.

In 2016 we put in a “JR” High Tunnel. Tomatoes, lettuce, basil, cucumbers and cilantro are some of the crops you’ll get to pick.

Honey and Jam for sale from the farm.

In 2023-24 we put in 200 new Northern Highbush on the west end. We hope they succeed. You’ll see them marked with flags. Keeping them weeded and watered is the biggest challenge during the first 4 years.

Person wearing a cap and gloves, kneeling and planting a small shrub in a garden.
More blueberry bushes get planted each year.

Directions

GPS 137 Bob Barnwell Rd, Fletcher. But know that is Janet’s house address so don’t turn in. Follow signs to the field from there.

Follow your directions of choice below. When you arrive, park right inside the gate or along side the road out of the way of traffic. Do NOT park in the curve as cars come around too fast and spin out on the gravel.

NOTE: Do not go to a house or up a mountain. The patch is in the valley along the road.

Directions from Asheville; I-40.

  • Take NC exit 53 A east
  • Go on highway 74 A East for 5.2 miles towards Fairview.
  • R on Emma’s Grove Road
  • Go 1.4 mi.
  • R on Bob Barnwell Road
  • Go 1 mile
  • (You will go past the Cloud 9 mailbox #137)
  • to patch on left/blue gate, blue building with roofed market area

Directions from Skyland/Arden to Cloud 9

  • Find the Ingles/Whole Foods intersection; Turn onto Mills Gap Rd.
  • Cross over the RR tracks, go straight through light which continues Mills Gap Rd (Crossing Hwy 25A/Sweeten Creek Rd.) Go 1 mile to Concord Rd. Turn L and follow Y to where Concord veers to right, you stay straight which is Emma’s Grove Rd. Go 2 miles and pass the Emmas’s Grove Baptist church. Turn Left sharply on Bob Barnwell Rd. Go 3/4 mi. on Bob Barnwell Rd. The pavement turns to gravel at my property line. Your GPS will tell you that you are there but go another half mile
  • (You will go past the Cloud 9 mailbox #137) to blue gate on left. Park in lot or along the road. Instructions will be on the table. I will be somewhere nearby if you call me at 628-1758.

Directions from Fletcher to Cloud 9

  • Turn onto Cane Creek Rd with a CVS pharmacy on the corner. Go 2.3 mi. to the 2nd light. Go diagonally across Mills Gap Rd. to a continuance of Cane Creek Rd. (sign will point to Cane Creek Middle School).
  • Go another 2.7 mi. Turn L on Concord Road (it comes up fast).
  • Go 2/10 mi. Turn R on Gravely Branch Rd. Go to end. Turn R on Emmas Grove Rd. (no sign) Go 1 mile and turn a sharp L on Bob Barnwell Rd (after the church).
  • You will go past the Cloud 9 mailbox #137 to blue gate on left.
Cloud 9 Relaxation