Picking Berries: A Virtual Fruit Stand in French River — Berry Picking Services

Last weekend, Marc and I traded in our hiking boots for rubber ones during the Land of the Voyageurs Rubber Boots Festival. Amazing as it was, we’re ready for different footwear. That can pose a dilemma. We’ll soon be debating whether it’s a hiking weekend or a berry picking weekend. Either way, a happy ending.
Picking berries and holding blueberries in my hand
Big bite, or basket-bound?
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Though it wasn’t such a happy beginning. Having spent our first winter together buying big, bright, but absolutely flavourless strawberries imported from Florida, I became frustrated — fuel for determination. As a freelance writer, I have a flexible work schedule and so, I was able to pick enough strawberries and raspberries at Noëlville Berry Farm to bring us into the upcoming season! I even picked a few baskets for my mom (smiley face).

Encouraged, Marc and I decided to pick and sell wild blueberries and did quite well. We just had to make a few calls to people we know and visit a local lodge. Piece of blueberry cheesecake.

We’re doing it all again this year, and we’re adding cranberries to the mix. We didn’t find our spot until the end of the season so we didn’t get to pick many, but enough for us to experiment with. As with pumpkin, I didn’t want to make desserts, so I found a good dinner recipe online — acorn squash stuffed with rice, cranberries, and walnuts. Oh, yum!

Since we got such a positive response last summer, we figure that, like us, people prefer tasty berries to watery ones, but maybe don’t have the time to get out there, live too far away, want to save their backs, or just don’t know where the good spots are.

So this time around, instead of picking berries and leaving to the gods how to sell them afterwards, we’ve decided to take advance orders. Whether you live in French River or are coming from not too far away, whether you’re vacationing in the area or just passing through, contact us. Our virtual fruit stand can meet your strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and cranberry needs!

I pick strawberries and raspberries at Noëlville Berry Farm, located at 704 Houle Road. Owners Jacques and Annette Guérin have been in business for 26 years. Their strands of berries were chosen for taste, not size.

Their use of chemicals is very minimal — they believe it's natural to have mice and insects in the fields, to have different sizes of berries, to see a weed here and there. They don't spray the berries directly, nor do they have a fall growing season exactly because the fruit need to be sprayed directly at that time.

Anyone can pick their own berries at Noëlville Berry Farm, so call ahead beginning in mid-June at (705) 898-2768. Annette also freezes what's left at season's end, perfect for Christmastime purchases.

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Marc and I pick wild blueberries in Sudbury; we pick wild cranberries in Sturgeon Falls at the Sturgeon River House. With a museum and nature trails, too, there's enough to do to make a fun day excursion out of it.
View of a large, open yellow-grass-covered wetland area, outlined by a wooden window frame.
Enjoy the view from this lookout in Theodore Fouriezos Wetlands Park at Sturgeon River House.
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Prices are usually similar each season, though they vary — please confirm the cost of your order ahead of time. Note that berries picked at Noëlville Berry Farm are sold for the same price as on the farm.

Heaping baskets usually contain a bit more than the stated quantity.

Prices listed below are from last year:

  • Strawberries picked at Noëlville Berry Farm: Four litres equals twelve dollars.
  • Raspberries picked at Noëlville Berry Farm: One litre equals seven dollars and twenty-five cents.
  • Wild blueberries: One litre equals ten dollars.
  • Wild cranberries: One litre equals ten dollars.
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Comments

4 Thoughts on “Picking Berries: A Virtual Fruit Stand in French River

  1. R.Gauthier:

    Julie, I will definitely place an order or two. mrs.G.

    1. Great! Just let me know what you need (smiley face).

  2. Marie-Paule Dupuis:

    I’ll have my usual order. Add a few litres of cranberries and we’ll try to dry some!!