Over the last few years or so, I've seriously gotten into eating fruits and veggies that I've grown or picked myself. So when I was given the opportunity to go and visit Eckert's Orchard in Versailles, Kentucky to pick blackberries, of course I jumped on it!
Eckert's, which is located about 20 minutes from Lexington is an amazing place to take your family. They have pick-your-own fruits and vegetables (apples, blackberries, strawberries, pumpkins, and peaches when in season), tractor rides to and from the pick-your-own areas (there was no hay on the tractor when we went, for those of you with hay allergies!), many play grounds for kids of all ages, a feeding zoo, a massive 90 ft. slide, pedal tractors, and of course their incredible farm store!
The first thing I noticed when we arrived was the friendliness of the staff. They helped us know how things worked around the orchard, and gave us all kinds of instructions for picking and getting to and from the blackberry bushes. The second thing I noticed was how large the Eckert's Farm Store is! They have everything from clothes and toys to many different local products that you won't see anywhere else!
When it was time to pick berries, we made a stop first to the Animal Barn to feed some eager goats, and then we climbed on-board a very nice trailer, which was being pulled by a farm tractor, and off we went to pick blackberries!
Unlike many of the "Pick-Your-Own" blackberry places, Eckert's berries have no thorns, and are grown on a one of a kind rotating trellis system, which made picking extremely easy for us!
Once we actually saw the berries, we all agreed, they were the largest, best looking blackberries, any of us had ever seen, and there were SO many of them! We had an amazing time picking, before heading home during a huge storm.
I must say, the blackberries that we picked made for some DELICIOUS desserts!
Fast Forward 2 Weeks
Due to the weather the previous week, we decided to revisit Eckert's again yesterday, this time for peaches (we had seen people picking peaches previously on our last trip).
Word to the wise: Always call ahead of time before driving an hour to find out there is none.
But that's okay! We checked out all of the other amenities the Eckert's Orchard had to offer, specifically for children. So Hailee got to experience the free playground, the $6.00 per kid, kids play area's (includes the 90 ft. slide, 2 playgrounds, and a jumping pad (seasonal) and the "Mining for Gems" area which is about $10.00 to play in. So all together I paid around $16.50 (we also fed the goats twice, which is 25 cents each time!).
Hailee had a blast getting to meet new kids, and playing on all of the different playgrounds!
After she was done playing, we went back to check out the store where we purchased their amazing Cider Donuts (seriously, you HAVE to try them!), and some peaches that they were selling in the store. The one thing I'm always impressed with, in their store, is the prices! They have so many amazing local and fresh items, all at such reasonable prices.
In conclusion I'd definitely recommend checking out Eckert's Orchard anytime your in the Lexington/Versailles area! They have a little bit of everything, and especially kids will just love it!
Also, a HUGE thank you to Eckert's Orchard for inviting us out to the Orchard. We had an amazing time, and can't wait to return again!