Mitchell's Berries: A Back-to-the-Farm Experience
For folks in Union County and the surrounding area, berry season just isn't complete without a trip to Mitchell's Berries. Located in Plain City, this family farm specializes in pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries along with a fun lineup of unique events.
Owners Paul and Shelly Detwiler love to share their agricultural heritage, and locals and visitors are quick to accept the invite. "In this day and age, there is a big disconnect between consumers and farmers," Shelly said. "We are trying to bridge that gap through education and production methods."
Although parts of the farm have been in Shelly's family for more than 200 years, she and her husband were the first ones to grow something other than corn and soybeans. It started when Shelly, who is also a dietitian, developed a fascination with the health benefits of black raspberries. Before long, she and her husband planted three acres of red and black raspberries. It wasn't long until their son convinced them to grow strawberries as well.
The Detwilers grow their berries in plastic and landscaping fabric, which helps with weed control. This method also keeps the strawberries warmer, making it possible to grow a larger California variety known as Chandler. Today, the farm boasts six acres of strawberries, summer red and black raspberries, edamame, asparagus and fall red raspberries.
Pick Your Own
If you want to enjoy berries from Mitchell's Berries, you will need to pick them yourself. The farm is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. during the picking season. But since the weather greatly impacts when the berries are ready to pick, it's best to check the Facebook page for up-to-date information before you make the trip.
Not sure when the different berries are in season? Shelly shares a handy tip for remembering. "Think about the holidays," she said. "Strawberries are ready around Memorial Day, followed by raspberries for the Fourth, and another kind of raspberries by Labor Day."
The Detwilers are fun-loving people, and they enjoy hosting a wide range of events throughout the summer months. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information, but in the meantime, here are a few events you won't want to miss.
Berry Fairy Tea Parties - Little girls (ages 4 to 10) and an accompanying adult will love this outdoor tea party adventure. Together they will enjoy a berry treat, make a craft, listen to a story, pick a quart of berries and learn how the berries are grown.
Wine Tastings – Tickets to this event include a quart container to pick your own berries, five wine tastings from local wineries and a local food sampling. A caterer is usually on hand to make berry asparagus treats.
Art on the Farm – This event includes your very own art supplies, instruction and complimentary berry treat.
Movie Nights – Grab a blanket or lawn chairs, your favorite snacks and beverage, and get ready to enjoy a family-friendly movie under the stars. Movies are hosted several times throughout the summer.
Keep in mind that no trip to Mitchell's Berries would be complete without an up-close look at their 1954 Chevy, which is prominently located on the property. So bring your smartphone and take some fun photos as you pose by this nostalgic gem.