Wild Berry Picking At Heartland Lodge!
July 7, 2019- Illinois Wild Berry Report: “We’ve had record amounts of precipitation this year and expect to have a bumper crop of raspberries and blackberries! The blackberries are starting to ripen! The remaining of July should be prime for picking wild berries!!”
Wild Berry Picking Special Weekend – July 17th – 19th, 2020 (tentative)
We have designated an entire weekend for picking blackberries and raspberries! July 17th – 19th is the special weekend and is peak time for blackberries and raspberries. We will have a guide take you out on our hay wagon for 2 hours in the morning (10:00 – 12;00) to our blackberry and raspberry spots on both Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a map posted with all the wild berry locations for those who want to venture out on their own. Corn hole games will be available to play. An old fashion summer time meal will be served Saturday evening for those who purchase the meal plan. It will include the following:
- BBQ RIBS
- BAKED BEANS
- CORN ON THE COB (SWEET CORN)
- POTATO SALAD
- TOMATO/CUCUMBER SALAD
- CORN BREAD
- BLACKBERRY COBBLER
Fresh Calhoun peaches will be available all weekend for overnight guests to enjoy!
You can make reservations online or call 217-734-2526.
More on Wild Berry Picking in Illinois
Well it’s that time of year for picking wild blackberries and raspberries in Illinois! The Heartland Lodge properties are loaded with these tasty berries. The tradition of picking wild berries goes way back to Gary Harpole’s grandparents and great-grandparents. It was a family tradition to pick them fresh and make jams, jelly, cobbler and just enjoy them fresh, “two in the bucket and one in the mouth.” 🙂
“When I grew up blackberries were a special treat during the summer months. I would look out the window and see my Grandpa George with a bucket, on the hottest day of the summer, going to pick blackberries. He was in his nineties. We made cobblers, pies, but my favorite was blackberry dumplings. Grandma Nellie would make blackberry juice and on New Year’s day Grandpa would bring us a jar of the precious commodity. This was to bring us good fortune with plenty of food for the coming year. Sometimes when we were sick, Grandpa George would bring us a jar of the blackberry juice to help us get better. Also, many stories have been told about their buckets being full of berries.” Wanda Harpole
Did you know these wild berries are a very healthy fruit high in fiber and vitamin C? When picking them it is key to only pick the ripe one’s which are almost black in color whereas the unripe blackberries and raspberries will appear red and will not ripen once picked. If you are a serious berry picker and pick more than you can eat, you can freeze them in freezer bags for future enjoyment.
Heartland Lodge has many great spots to pick these outstanding tasteful berries! The best time to pick them is from the middle of June through August depending on weather conditions. Feel free to give us a call to see when they are ripe for the picking! We look forward to you joining us during the “pickin peak” time of the summer! Just keep an eye on your berry bucket! 😉
Last Updated: July 27th, 2019