Tri-town residents know how to pick 'em
At the end of a seemingly endless dirt road that winds around cranberry bogs and through trees is a colorfully painted shack with a sign that reads: “Pay here.”
The shack is manned by a man named Tom, who hands out buckets to people as they drive up, prepared to take on the heat for some hand-picked blueberries.
Tom, who wished only to be identified by his first name, estimates that Hiller’s "U pick 'em" Blueberry Patch in Rochester sees about 120 people per day. Even on a scorching Sunday afternoon, Tom said about 75 people had already been through.
“People from all over come here,” he said. From Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and "Boston, Rhode Island…Even people from Florida who come back home to visit come pick a bucket to take back with them.”
Many people who visit the patch are regulars.
“My father used to come with my mother,” Diane Aman said. “I try to come at least once a year to pick and carry on the tradition.”
Those who aren’t there for tradition’s sake often go to support neighborhood farms.
“The smaller the berries, the more local to the area,” Margaret French-Green explained.
The blueberry patch is owned by the Beaton family, bought six or seven years ago from the Hillers who had operated the property since the 1940s.
The price for hand-picked blueberries is $2.50 per pound.
“It’s a money saver for people,” Tom said.
According to the notebook at the shack used for record-keeping, people are taking home anywhere between two and 40 pounds of blueberries.
“People pick 10-12 pounds usually,” Tom said.
The patch is open every day from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s located off Mary’s Pond Road, in the area of Eastover Farm.