Tucked in the corner of St. Landry Parish, only minutes from the hustle and bustle of Lafayette is Blueberry Forest! A place to get away, grab some fresh air, and enjoy a healthy snack! The Kidder Farm, with Mr. Jimmy, his wife Sheila, and their daughter Lisa, offers pick-your-own blueberries! Just show up, park by the big red barn and sign in! You may not know, but blueberries grow great in Louisiana, even with the freeze this winter!
"They’re great! Blueberries love Winter! They love the freeze, a lot of production comes from Michigan and Maine," says Lisa Bowles. "We never covered these, ever and they’re outside. "We don’t have problems with birds or insects."
Over 200 trees dot the property, so there’s plenty to go around during the height of the picking season.
"We have three different varieties, premier, climax and tiff blue."
And what exactly is the difference between these blueberries? Lisa says the difference is in the taste. "Some are more tart and some are more sweet."
You just got to get in and try some to find your favorite. The berries are at all heights, so the kids are going to love picking!
"This is the greatest place for kids to pick because adults and older people don’t want to bend down," says Bowles. "I always tell the kids, ‘Hey bend down you’re going to be awesome picking this! This is your spot!’"
It’s great for families and great for field trips. The well-manicured area makes picking easy. You hear the sounds of the farm, you can eat a little as you go, and just have fun! And it’s a bargain at just $12 per gallon!
For organic, Bowles explains that you’d pay an average of $45-50 or potentially more.
And a gallon is a lot of blueberries. It’s a good thing there are so many uses.
"Put them fresh in a summer salad, throw in some mandarin oranges, some peaches, mangos, have a fruit salad. Jello Cake, you can make blueberry vinaigrette dressing. You can put blueberries in anything, you can puree it put it on your lemon pie. My mom likes to make smoothies," says Lisa.
The list is endless. And at the expense of sounding like the Bubba Gump of blueberries, Bowles names a few more.
"Blueberry cottage cheese, blueberry pie, blueberry puree, blueberry salad!"
The Farm is also a great learning experience
"Things don’t grow in a grocery store. Where does it come from? What does it take? Whew, it’s hot! We always tell people to bring water, stay hydrated."
And while you’re picking you can meet new friends and enjoy Mr. Jimmy’s stories.
Blueberry Forest in St. Landry. Come ready to pick, leave with delicious blueberries and some new friends!
The picking will be good only for another week or so. To get there take I-49 to exit 7, go north on 182 for 2 miles, turn right on Don Guilbeau for about a mile, then look for the signs at Coach Couvillion Road.
The farm will be open until everything is picked clean.