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SUMMER / FALL 2019      © 2019 812 Magazine

Indiana blues


Alpine Berry Farm offers the U-pick experience


There's nothing quite like the moment a fresh blueberry bursts inside your mouth on a summer day. Hidden behind our notable hills and forests, blueberries grow right in Southern Indiana. Who knew?

The owners of Alpine Berry Farm in Batesville maintain a u-pick blueberry farm with 900 bushes. Although they are native to areas with acidic soil, such as Maine, Alpine's berries flourish on five-foot tall bushes. You can come pick berries that can be frozen and used all year or eaten on the drive home. The farm also sells blackberries and various carvings made by owner Ted Cooley.

Ted and his wife Kathy have been in charge of the farm since 1995 when they took it over from his parents.

For such little fruits, blueberries are especially high-maintenance. They need common ingredients to grow- lots of sunshine and the right amount of water- but they also demand acidic soil, which Southern Indiana lacks. Kathy and Ted plant bushes in half soil and half peat moss to cultivate the berries.

"We actually change the nature of the soil, so the berries can grow here," Kathy says. "Blueberry bushes can last forever as long as you take really good care of them."

And that's exactly what they do. They keep the berries simple and natural, avoiding pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. As for those pesky birds, they lay down loose netting to keep them away.

Blueberries also have high levels of antioxidants, so they do your body a big favor.

The farm is typically open from Father's Day to Labor Day on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and berries are $2.75 a pound.

Pickin' Tips

  1. Call the Blueberry Hotline (812.934.6677) or visit their LocalHarvest profile to make sure there are blueberries that day.
  2. Wear solid shoes and long pants to make your way through the bushes comfortably.
  3. Bring your own containers for picking blueberries to keep the farm sustainable.
  4. Have fun! The farm is a great place for a family getaway and to stock up on delicious berries. Little ones get an interactive experience and can actually play with their food.

Kathy's Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • \0xBD cup orange juice or pomegranate juice
  • 12 ounces lowfat yogurt or milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or honey

Combine all ingredients, blend until smooth and enjoy!