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#1
Posted August 31st 2009, 3:14pm
As I happen to be working on a google map of U-Pick Farms, I was surprised and delighted to get a PM from our own razbry - who takes her screen name from her start-up raspberry U-Pick farm. I'd asked her to keep me posted on the process, and last week she sent me an email, saying that if we came up on Sunday, there was a pioneer festival in nearby Genoa, IL that she particularly enjoyed...homemade pie in particular catching my interest. Since Monday was Sparky's first day at school, I thought this would be a great send-off to the summer, not to mention a nice distraction. So we piled another Mom and a buddy for Sparky into the car, and off we went.

"Pioneer Days" is a festival sponsored by The Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Society on the last Sunday in August. Genoa, apparently, was about the mid-way point in the Chicago to Geneva stagecoach run, and the festival celebrates that time, with a large group of Civil War reenacters offering a peek back in time. After being totally misdirected to a park in the industrial side of town by my GPS, we happened upon the festival just off of Rt. 72 and Main St - read "happened upon" for "got stuck in the gaper's block caused by the stagecoach as it entered and drove on Rt. 72 for a short jaunt." Not a sight you see every day:

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The festival is a lot of fun, very homespun: Sparky and his friend were first entertained by some girls from the local brownie troupe who were teaching kids to play games like marbles and jacks, and then became infatuated with the "corn shucking" machines. They each shucked about 10 ears of corn, and then had handmade corn bean bags made by the pioneer ladies at the treadle sewing machines. Behind them, they totally ignored the fascinating process of spinning rope, and the blacksmith making nails and horseshoes.

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Most of the reenactors were bristling with arms, and many were engaged in balloon quick-draw shootouts, or other such displays. Of course, once I saw the pie, I was just as distracted as Sparky had been by the corn shucker, they had pie of almost every imaginable variety, all homemade, many heritage recipes like mincemeat (clearly, by about noon the pies had been somewhat picked over; impressive, considering the fair starts at 11)

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We chose lemon meringue and a strawberry-rhubarbe cake (they had run out of strawberry-rhubarb pie) and both were incredible: I have never been a fan of lemon meringue, but I am now: silky custard flavored with both lemon and vanilla and an incredible texture of meringue with a bit of crunch on the browned bit and fluffy underneath.

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We then left the relative mayhem of the festival and drove a couple of miles west to Kingston, IL. UPberries is located just after the turn of a gravel road, just off of Kingston's Main St.
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Between the bionicle assault in the car, the motorcycles at the diner, and the shooting at the pioneer festival, it was a relief to get out of the car and be greeted with neat rows of verdant bushes, with little dots of crimson peeking between the leaves:

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Of course, we were greeted by the very gracious razbry as we pulled up (and had one of those delightful putting-the-face-with-the-screen-names moments) and she graciously pulled out baskets and got us set up, chatting about the upcoming picnic, and other LTH gossip. The kids immediately got to work, and in fairly short order we had ten pints picked between the four of us. The berries are enormous and juicy, the kind you can stick on the tops of your fingers, and absolutely delicious. (So juicy, in fact, that we all looked like we'd gone butchering instead of berrying! With two energetic boys, this gave us fodder for the trip home - IIRC, zombies figured heavily in the conversation)

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A highly, highly recommended way to end your summer.

UPberries
30683 Lanan Rd.
Kingston, IL 60145
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#2
Posted September 21st 2009, 5:17pm
We made it by UPberries last Thursday and found row after row of luscious, dark, ripening raspberries. We picked seven pints. A sidewalk fruit stand in Genoa offered small, ripe pears, and we brought a few of those home too. The pears and raspberries were both very sweet and made for a wonderful morning fruit dish over the weekend.

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Driving back home thru Algonquin, we stopped at St. Roger Abbey Gourmet & Bakery Shop to pick up something nice to go with the raspberry sorbet we would make later that afternoon. We chose a chocolate tart.

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Many thanks to 'razbry' for telling us about, and inviting us to, her farm. And to Mhays for the description and visuals that further encouraged us. We'll be back to pick more to freeze and enjoy thru the winter.
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#3
Posted September 21st 2009, 6:48pm
Crimeny! I'm about to eat my screen - thanks to you, too!
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#4
Posted September 24th 2009, 3:15pm
My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures. I'll probably try to combine it with a trip to the Children's Museum in Rockford sometime soon.
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shorty
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#5
Posted September 28th 2009, 1:47pm
My family had a great time picking raspberries. Even though my kids are only 4 and 5, they still enjoyed picking berries. We only picked 4 pints since we wanted to save some time to visit the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford. (You need to watch out for the bees and aphids). Razbry came out and chatted with us for awhile and showed us her blueberry plants.

I made a parfait with plain yogurt, vanilla granola (loosely based on Vanilla Granola), and some raspberries.
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Here are some images from the museum:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2657/3962704091_7590acb4bd.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2674/3963464422_aa995dd56d.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2559/3962714857_e5d4472258.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3478/3963498020_8ee23c296b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2614/3962796031_0bb91cd7ff.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2618/3963498098_3a31fb359c.jpg

This museum is one of the best children's museums I have visited. There were a lot of exhibits which were educational even for adults. We also stopped by The Machine Shed in Rockford for pot roast. Their pies looked good, but we did not try them this time.
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shorty
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#6
Posted September 29th 2009, 7:42pm
Those berries look great-- I would love an estimate on when the season ends-- how long do I have to get out there?

Cheers, Jen
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#7
Posted September 29th 2009, 8:50pm
JenM wrote:Those berries look great-- I would love an estimate on when the season ends-- how long do I have to get out there?

Cheers, Jen

I had asked this kind of question at the LTH picnic. Razbry said that you can pick raspberries until frost.
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shorty
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#8
Posted August 16th 2010, 4:09pm
I thought I'd give this thread a little bump up as it is now raspberry season. (Full disclosure, I have a You Pick Berry business). It has been another stellar year for growing BIG BERRIES! So much so, that I am now in the process of putting in a trellis "system" so that the canes (heavy with berries) are up off the ground.

There are many events and festivals coming up in the DeKalb, Sycamore, Genoa, Kingston area, not to mention that NIU students will be heading back to school this week. If there was ever a time to take a trip to pick raspberries and team it up something else to do, it would be now. You can find links to the extra fun on my website at upberries.com If you do make the journey and see me out and about, please call me over and let me know you are an LTHer! My business is set up as a self serve / honor system. So I don't always approach my customers to talk to them. I think some of them like it that way! :shock: Also, bring your favorite mosquito repellent...they are fierce! Enjoy the last days of summer!
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#9
Posted August 22nd 2010, 4:46pm
Made a great trip up about an hour north of God's country to Razbry's U-pick raspberry patch.

Ive been wanting to get up and pay a visit for a while, and when I looked outside this a.m., and saw clear blue skies and low humidity i knew today was the day.

Upon arrival we grabbed the supplied containers for gathering and hit the field. razbry was out working the field doing some trimming of plants. I have met her a few times before, and find her one of the most pleasant people on all of LTH, friendly, and easy to talk to. I was really impressed with the setup, the raspberries, and the overall operation, a tip of my hat to razbry for all the hard work it must take to keep this operation running.

After filling our pints(and my daughter filling her stomach) with as many berries as we needed, I think it was 5, I was given a tour of the beautiful property. 5 acres cut into the surrounding farm land. Blueberry plants hopefully ready in the next couple years, plus a pumpkin patch, tomatoes, grapes, etc. A red barn from the late 1800's, just a great piece of land.

Fun time, beautiful late summer day, well worth the trip from anywhere in Chicagoland. I tis so spiritually rewarding & energizing for me and my family to make these trip out to these farms west, south, or north of Chicago, to have time to chat with these folks and see their passion, and their hard work firsthand. I recommend more folks take the time to do it.


the starting point:

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the raspberry patch:

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future blueberry patch:

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happy pickers:

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the yield:

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baby pumpkin:

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1800's barn:

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I dont think anything special will be made from these beautiful raspberries, I am guessing they will be eaten au-natural, they are that good. i did hear razbry talking about a raspberry margarita that sounded interesting.

http://www.upberries.com
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Telling stories and forgetting time.....

@GrubSeeker
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#10
Posted August 22nd 2010, 5:46pm
Hopefully we will get out there this week before school starts!

EDIT: Got there Today and WOW raspberries are way easier to pick than strawberries.
Really tasty fruit, we came home with 8 pints!
Great to meet razbry in the flesh
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#11
Posted August 24th 2010, 12:35pm
Thanks guys! :D
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For those of you who love raspberries...the season is coming in! Check my website upberries.com. If you do make the trip, please hunt me down (I'm usually running around somewhere on the property). I'd love to meet you! :D
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#13
Posted August 10th 2011, 11:17am
good morning!
i made the pleasant trip two weeks ago tomorrow/Friday (so, i went on Friday, July 29th i think) to UPBerries Farm.
i visited the website upberries.com - which has wonderful tips about when to come and how to dress and what to bring - and read all of the tips and then totally ignored them.
same for the good tips in this thread :).
for instance, at the time (late July), razbry specifically stated either here on the forum or on the site that the best time to come (because of berry yield) then was in the early hours (i arrived at like 6pm), the site suggests bringing repellent and water (i stopped for a diet a&w rootbeer and a fountain pop? - there is water available to buy at the farm! and i think i spied some OFF).
anyway. the farm was still lovely and it was a really great experience.
the day i was searching for UPBerries Farm, however, was one of those days which followed one of our monsoons this summer and the UPBerries sign which pointed the way to Lanan Road (the last turn in the trip to the farm, off of 5 Points Rd onto Lanan, which is gravel - not counting the turn when one is *on* the gravel road, just before you reach the farm, where the neighbor farm dog chases you and the chickens mill about in the road clucking and pecking) was flipped around and I didn't see it - any of the times I passed by it on 5 Points Rd.
i DID eventually find the farm because i am from farm-country in IN and, when i found a ph signal, I called my dear friend who is also from farm-country in IN and she guided me via her google maps from her farm in TN . . . . "i think it's the last road outside of Kingston. . . " "is it a gravel road? i don't see any signs. there is an unmarked gravel road, this must be it!" "yes! that seems right! go down the gravel road!" (ph signal cuts out)
one suggestion i would definitely give is this: download the directions to your phone or print them out because (i have tmobile) the signal fades in-and-out there in the lovely countryside and that's how *i* found myself a little lost (totally my fault).
also, it is definitely about a 2 hour trip from the City (esp on a Fri nt), so allow for it!
i DID manage to follow some of the handling/prep directions on your site and i have some lovely raspberries ready for fall baking ready in my freezer! yay!

thank you!
Michelle

ps. I MIGHT have tried harder to hunt you down, razbry, but it was getting sortof late and dinner time-ish and it was Fri evening and i didn't want to harass . . . . so lovely where you are. just being out of the City - big smiles.
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" . . . that makes me the ham!"
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#14
Posted August 15th 2011, 9:04am
Femalemadman, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit...and sorry to hear you had such difficulties finding me! My signage is the temporary sort as this is a seasonal business. I try to get out and check my signs every week, especially after a big wind/rain storm. I have to put my signs as far as I can into ditch areas, yet still be visible from the road because apparently they are a valued treasure by local sign "collectors" :D Yesterday I did a total face plant when I tripped coming up out of ditch after straightening up one of the signs. One of the joys of a small business owner!

Anyway, we are now at an "excellent" volume level for red raspberries. I still recommend that if you are looking to pick quantity to come in the AM hours. Otherwise, you can stay and watch the sun go down if you want, and will still walk away with at least a couple pints.

If you ever come back for a visit (or if anyone else from LTH comes out) track me down. I'd love to meet you!
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#15
Posted September 20th 2011, 5:20pm
The glory days of red raspberries are now at their peak. Some people are surprised at this, but it all depends on the cultivator used, and how it is cultivated. I use a Fall Red Raspberry plant that is cultivated specifically to produce one crop of BIG berries. I'm not sure yet if it was some of the extra effort I poured on the raspberry field this year or just a great season of weather, but the raspberries are outstanding this year. The bushes are loaded with huge sweet raspberries. The crowds of pickers have thinned, and for those looking for quantities for jam or freezing, the time is now.

If you are looking for something to pair with raspberry picking, NIU is having a football game this Sat. at 2:30. NIU is also having some sort of Guitar Day (NIU All-Style) on Oct. 1st. Check for details at http://www.niu.edu/extprograms

Also, there is a Apple Orchard I would recommend, Jonamac Orchard, that isn't too far from my location. They have an outstanding corn maze, apple slingshot (my personal favorite), apple picking and lots of activities for all ages. http://www.JonamacOrchard.com This orchard is perhaps just far enough out that it is off Chicago's radar. Which means that it isn't overrun with people.

Anyway, full disclosure, I own and operate http://www.upberries.com. LTH forum has always been kind to let me put out a call a couple times of year. Take a look at my website. It is a different harvesting experience. The berries will be there until we get a hard frost. Hope to see you! :wink:
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Lead Moderator
Hi,

razbry's you-pick orchard opens around July 14th, more information can be found at her website: http://upberries.com/ and on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/You-Pick ... 169?ref=ts

Good News/Bad News.

The bad news is that the heat, wind and extended drought have wrecked havoc on my blueberries. No blueberries this year. :(

The GOOD NEWS is that the raspberries are looking great, and should be ready by mid July! Watch this page or my web site for updated info.


Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
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#17
Posted August 11th 2012, 9:22am
Thanks Cathy2. My raspberries are fall bearing. They start in July, and build in volume, peaking towards the end of August. The berries are ever-bearing, so the peak volume is held until the first several hard frosts. We were picking well into October last year. It's a nice peaceful country experience with a great payoff of raspberries!
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#18
Posted August 17th 2012, 7:29pm
Finally made it out to razbry's You Pick today and scored 6.5 pints. Delicious berries!

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Glazed raspberry pie, need I say more?
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Glazed-Raspberry-Pie

Cheers, Jen
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#19
Posted August 20th 2012, 9:24am
Wow Jen...that is one awesome looking raspberry pie! Next time you come out to visit try and track me down. I'd love to meet you.
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#20
Posted September 6th 2013, 2:31pm
They're ready!
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Now that's what I'm talking about!
Last edited by razbry on September 6th 2013, 2:52pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#21
Posted September 6th 2013, 2:48pm
It's that time again! FB You Pick Berries or upberries.com
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#22
Posted September 6th 2013, 8:31pm
I plan on coming after the hot weather is over. Prolly not next week but maybe the next.
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Toria

"I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
W. Shakespeare
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#23
Posted October 6th 2013, 9:52am
Hi,

I was twice this year at U-Pick raspberries in Kingston, Illinois.

In July, it was hunt and pick for those illusive berries. Coming at the end of the day on Saturday, when others came much early made quite a difference in yield. All the easy-to-pick berries had already been taken. Where I found mine were those hidden by leaves at the base.

Yesterday was a far different story, it was more like shooting fish in a barrel. There were so many ripe berries, the challenge was where to begin. I would pluck 5-6 berries from a branch, then find many more branches nearby heavy with fruit. In pouring rain, I collected 2.5 pints in a short period of time.

I then met razbry and family at a local church for dinner of roast pork, sauerkraut, green beans with bacon, mashed potatoes, apple sauce and cranberry sauce.

I might have gone back for a little more berry picking, but my companion wasn't as eager.

Certainly, I will look to come back in late September or early October next year for berry picking. It was truly a bonanza of berries.

Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
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