A bowl of blueberries.

PA’s Locally-Sourced Berry Picking

Historically speaking, Pennsylvania has been one of the highest producing regions in the country for food, dating back to the 1720s. In the southeast region of the state, the climate is mild and ideal for crops to grow, and the amount of rainfall the state gets creates rich, bountiful soil. 

Pennsylvania has always been a farming state; in 1820, more than 90 percent of the working population was involved in the state’s agriculture in some way. By 1900, more than 77% of employed residents of Pennsylvania worked in agriculture and farming. 

By the twentieth century, the agriculture industry had shifted to meet the population demands and technological advancements of its time. Farm orchards were replaced by fruit specialists, while other crops like tobacco and potatoes became commodities. 

Berry Availability from Local Farms

The development and innovation of reliable roads, transportation, and electricity created new jobs and opportunities elsewhere, and farmers began to pursue new lives. By 1920, more than 170,000 Pennsylvanians had left rural areas in the state, and another 300,000 by the 1960s. This shift in population crushed the family farms in Pennsylvania. 

However, the availability of so many abandoned farms in southeastern PA brought in motivated families to take over the farms, innovate processes and try new methods of planting. In time, this invigorated the agriculture industry in Pennsylvania.

New local farm owners discovered the bountiful river bottoms that were ideal for growing fruits and vegetables, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Did You Know There are 50,000 Farms in PA?

That’s right! Today, there are over 50,000 farms in Pennsylvania that produce much of the United States’ produce, dairy, and livestock.

Many local farms in PA are multi-generational family businesses with incredible stories to share. Farmers would often plant berry fields on their property and encourage local residents to come and pick the berries for a small fee or trade. 

It was an additional stream of revenue for the farm, got communities involved in farming, educating them on seasonal pickings, and boosted interest in the importance of locally grown food. 

Berry Picking is the BEST in PA!

From the climate and soil to the sheer volume of farms in the state, there is no doubt that berry picking in Pennsylvania is the best in the country. Whether you’re craving strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries, PA berry picking is unlike any other. 

While farming is a challenging lifestyle, it’s one of the noblest professions and keeps the world turning. Without farms, many of the food options we enjoy today would be non-existent. 

For us at D’Arc’s Family Jam, we rely heavily on local farms for the delectable berries we use in our homemade jams. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top