Resources for Farmers: Agri-Entertainment, PYO, U-Pick, Corn MAzes, Pumpkin Patches and Other direct to the consumer Farm Operations!

This month's notes: May 2017: Stored US apples are still  available.  See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops.

Valentine's Day - February 14 - See this website for Valentines Day history, facts and Amazon's top picks for fast, easy, inexpensive gifts for the man, woman or children in your life!

Easter will be April 16, 2017 - if you want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt - see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!

And we have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! Also make your own ice cream; see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy  directions

Please tell the farms you found them here - and ask them to update their information!!

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Resources for Farmers

Are you interested in starting a PYO operation?  Or you are looking for information to help manage your operation better? The information below ought to be of great value to you! Start with the first link below about how to start a pick-your-own farm, and remember, you can list your farm, orchard, pumpkin patch, horse riding stables, Christmas tree farm etc, on this website for free!

Here are some of the U-pick-specific resources I've found on the internet:

How to start a pick-your-own or other agri-entertainment operation










Training, Seminars and Conferences

Supplies and management services

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes

Farmer's Organizations:

Resource websites:

  • Beginning - provides information for new farmers and potential farmers about: funding resources, finding land, internships and jobs, production practices, marketing strategies, farmer training programs, business planning, useful publications, and lots more.
  • Library4farming is publishing a series of books on the web on all aspects of farming. Currently they have published The Yearbook of Agriculture for 1947, titled "Science in Farming". hey have in process the Yearbooks of Agriculture "Gardening for Food and Fun", "Insects" and "Seeds".

More research for farmers


Who Is The Typical PYO Customer?
according to the University of Wisconsin

  • Age: One-fourth are over 62, and 43% are 26-45 
  • Education: Nearly 60% are educated beyond high school, with one-third being college graduates. 
  • Income: Two-thirds have annual household incomes over $25,000, and one-fifth have incomes over $50,000. 
  • Spend at the PYO: One-third spend between $5 and $10 per visit.  One-fourth spend less than $5.  One in 10 purchase $20 or more per visit. 
  • Found the farm by: Over half learned of the market through word-of-mouth.  (obviously this study was done before! :)
  • Far far to go: Eighty percent traveled less than 40 miles to get to the farm. 
  • Want organic: Nearly half are concerned about the use of agricultural chemicals.














Florida Berry/Vegetable Times
Massachusetts Berry Notes
Michigan State University Fruit Crop Advisory Team (CAT) alerts
Ontario Berry Newsletter
Strawberry IPM update
The New York Berry News

Nursery Selection

Lists of available cultivars of North American berry crops and nurseries that sell them.

Publications, Factsheets, Infosheets

Minnesota Apple & Strawberry Reports
Ontario Agriculture and Food: Berry Page
PSU Small Fruits web site
Strawberry Eats & Treats - The Guide to Enjoying Strawberries
U. of Florida Strawberry Lab
U. of Vermont Berry Links

Organizations in the states and Canadian provinces that are interested in berries, small fruit, etc.


California Strawberry Commission
Florida Strawberry Growers Association
BC - Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association
N C Strawberry Association
Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission


British Columbia Blueberry Council
MBG Blueberry Marketing Cooperative
North American Blueberry Council
Wild Blueberry Association of North America


British Columbia Raspberry Growers' Association
British Columbia Raspberry Industry Development Council
North American Bramble Growers Association
Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission
Home of the Washington Red Raspberry Commission


California Cherry Commission
Cherry Marketing Institute


Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association
Maine Cranberry Growers' Association
Washington Cranberry Commission

General - United States

California Tree Fruit Agreement
Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association
Michigan State Horticultural Society
Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
New England Produce Council
Northwest Horticultural Council
Northwest Berry and Grape Information Network
Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research
Prairie Fruit Growers Association
Texas Produce Association
United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association
Washington State Fruit Commission
Washington State Horticultural Association

General - International

Canadian Horticulture Council
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Fruit Growers Society of Alberta
Histoire naturelle des fraisiers

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association
Ontario Produce Marketing Association
Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Ltd.


Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (USDA)

Cornell Fruit Resources - Your gateway to information at Cornell University, the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station & related programs. -- This website is part of a USDA-sponsored project that is testing and promoting high tunnel systems in the Central Great Plains.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

New England Small Farm Institute -- A private non-profit organization supporting beginning farmers and sustainable small scale agriculture throughout New England.

North Carolina Berry Agent

The Rodale Institute

Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium

The California Strawberry Commission

Growing Algae as a Commercial Crop

  • National Algae Association - ,
    4747 Research Forest Dr., Suite 180, The Woodlands, TX 77381. Phone: 936-321-1125. Email: Open: 24/7, 365 days. Directions: See their website for directions. Payment: . Growing, Harvesting and Extraction on acreage New Algae Production Incubator Program A New Innovative Algae Farming Cooperative Acreage and Services available for qualified Algaepreneurs Learn about the first Algae Production Incubator - a new algae farming cooperative. Algae is one solution to help the US get off of foreign oil, become energy independent and create new jobs. Potential new markets: Jet Fuel Nutraceutical Green Diesel Pharmaceutical Biodiesel Cosmetics Biogasoline Organic Fertilizer Bioplastics Livestock, Poultry and Fish Feed (ADDED: November 18, 2010, suggested by a visitor)


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Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]









Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

Home Canning Kits


Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!