U-Pick blueberries returns to Marineau!
After a few years’ pause, we are pleased to be bringing back U-pick blueberries. This said, since the number of people we can accommodate at any one time is limited, we will be operating by reservation only and according to set time slots. If you visit us without a reservation and there are time slots open, we’ll be glad to let you pick.
Blueberries grown in pots
At Ferme Marineau, blueberries are grown in pots. Unlike wild blueberries that grow on the ground, cultivated blueberries grow in bushes. Currently, we have about 6,000 plants on our land, some of which will be available for U-pick blueberry season, which is usually from mid-July to mid-August. Growing blueberries in pots has many advantages, especially in terms of irrigation, PH management, winterization and harvesting. Our blueberry bushes comprise a dozen varieties that we’ve been able to test over the years, and they produce beautiful, large, tasty fruit. The blueberries are sometimes covered with a thin whitish film; this is called bloom. Bloom is a natural protection for the fruit that disappears when rubbed. By rinsing your fruit only when it’s time to eat it, you’ll keep it fresh longer! You’ll also notice that there are nets protecting the berries. Birds love blueberries, so without these nets they would quickly ravage our crops.
U-Pick blueberries just minutes from the city
Since we’re close to the city, our site is easily accessible by car or public transit. To make your experience on the farm even more enjoyable, we’ve set up a beautiful festive playground with a silo transformed into a slide, a chicken coop, an artisanal ice cream stand and several picnic areas. In our farmer’s market you’ll find many fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as homemade and local products. In fact, our own blueberries are used in our pies, jams and ice cream… a real treat! If you don’t feel like picking your own blueberries, you can always buy fresh ones picked that day.
What is blueberry picking like at Ferme Marineau?
To help you plan your visit, we’ve put together a list of relevant information that should answer most of your questions.
Can I just show up or do I need to book?
We prefer reservations. To do so, simply fill out the form online and choose the date and time that best suits you, based on the number of spots available. You’ll then receive an e-mail with a barcode that you’ll need to show when you arrive. If you haven’t booked, we can’t guarantee that there will be space if you just show up.
How is the picking done?
To minimize wastage and make sure everyone has a pleasant picking experience, we’ll assign you a plant for the duration of your harvest. We don’t allow free picking.
How much does it cost?
There’s no admission fee. The picking cost is based on the number of baskets to be purchased according to the number of people participating. For this activity, anyone over the age of 4 counts towards the minimum number of baskets required. Everyone who comes for U-pick blueberries gets access to the fields, to our playground and to all our public facilities. The cost of the baskets is not taxable. Please note that we ask you not to bring any other containers to our fields.
The costs are as follows. We’ve provided some examples, but this formula applies proportionally to the number of people. When you fill out the form indicating the number and age of participants, the minimum number of baskets to be purchased will be calculated automatically. You can increase the number of baskets in the box provided. You will also be able to purchase additional baskets on site.
One person: Minimum purchase of one empty 3-litre basket at $20
Two people aged 4 and over: Minimum purchase of one 3-litre basket at $20
Three people aged 4 and over: Minimum purchase of two 3-litre baskets at $20 each
Four people aged 4 and over: Minimum purchase of two 3-litre baskets at $20 each
What happens if I reserve and don’t show up?
Reservations automatically block off the number of spots available. If you’ve reserved and don’t show up, there will be no refund. However, if Ferme Marineau has to close the U-pick operation due to very bad weather conditions or for any other unavoidable reason, you will receive a full refund. Always check your e-mail before coming to your activity (including your junk mail folder), because if we have to close, we’ll send you a message to let you know.
What happens if I reserve and arrive late?
We ask that you respect your reservation time to help make sure the activity runs smoothly. If you’re very late, we reserve the right to change your time slot or deny you access.
Where are the U-pick blueberry fields located and how do I get there?
Blueberries are picked at the entrance to our fields. You don’t have to walk far to get there. Strollers or carts are permitted, but you have to leave them at the ends of the rows. For the little ones, a baby carrier is ideal.
Is blueberry picking suitable for young children?
Since blueberries often weigh down the branches of the bushes, it’s fairly easy for little ones to pick them. This said, you’re the best person to judge whether your child is able to participate. Since the rows are quite narrow and to make sure everyone has a good time, running and climbing in the pots is prohibited. If you’re coming with a very young child, don’t forget to bring a baby carrier, as strollers and carts have to stay at the ends of the rows.
Can I bring a picnic?
Various areas are set up throughout the site for picnics. During your visit, as the perfect end to your picnic, we invite you to enjoy a delicious frozen treat at our artisanal ice cream stand. Our creations are always inspired by our harvests! To complement your picnic, you can also find fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as homemade products at the farm stand.
Can I bring my dog?
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on our site.
How to store your blueberries
Freshly picked blueberries can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week. If there’s a lot of condensation or if your blueberries are very wet, it’s better to let them dry on a tray in the open air for about an hour before putting them in the refrigerator. As mentioned, blueberries are often naturally covered with a thin whitish film called bloom that helps preserve and protect them. It’s therefore best to rinse your blueberries only when you’re ready to eat them. To freeze them, simply rinse them, dry them gently, place them in a single layer on a tray and put them in the freezer. Once they’re completely frozen, remove them from the plate and transfer them to a freezer bag or container.