Something that must be on your summer to do list if you’re in or around St. Louis is Blackberry Picking at Eckert’s. Eckert’s is a year-round farm located in Belleville, Illinois that has seasonal crops and a lot more to do than just picking blackberries. Strawberry picking was earlier this summer, and peaches will be available next week. William and I went on Sunday with my sister Stephanie and her two kids.
Little did I know that there is so much to do at Eckert’s! Of course there is fruit picking, but also vegetables and flowers. There is a country store that is filled with all sorts of fun items.
To get out to the fields where the blackberries were, we had to take a short tractor ride, which, of course, William was more than thrilled about. He kept saying, “Bumpy ride!”
Then off to the fields we went!
I tried to explain to William that blackberries start off green, then turn red, then finally black when you can eat them. He liked picking the green ones best.
This was the first time that he was really able to pick the fruit himself. It’s so much fun teaching him how food grows from the ground and we can eat it!
He really did look thoroughly to find the perfect blackberry to add to his basket.
It was a scorcher out there, but there were a few water stations in the fields where we were able to seek shade and hydrate. After we’d had enough sun, we took the tractor back. The whole farm is truly breathtaking and such a magnificent place to take photos.
After we cooled off in the air conditioning, we went back out to explore some more. On the weekends, there are pony rides, train rides, and carnival rides.
The train was William’s favorite. Those two could have stayed on there all day.
William also liked playing put-put mini golf and finding bikes to ride.
And for the first time ever, William rode a horse!
I had tried before, but he was scared. This time, he clasped tightly to the saddle with one hand and held on to me with his other. He loved it!
After we spent a couple of hours doing all the fun activities, we were hungry for lunch. The restaurant had a 30 minute wait, so we placed a to-go order and ate ice cream first.
We heard no complaints from anyone about that!
all photos by stephanie cotta photography
It was a wonderful day at Eckert’s and I highly recommend making a day of it. In fact, we may just go back next week for peaches!
Have you done any picking this summer?