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Crabtree's Pick-Your-Own Highbush Blueberries

703 Bridgton Road (Route 107)

Sebago, ME 04029-3344

Phone (207) 787-2730
Fax (207) 787-2531
E-Mail crabtree@crabcoll.com

[Blueberry Home Page] [Directions] [Hours and Prices]

[About Blueberries] [Blueberry Recipes] [Getting Ready for Blueberry Season] [We Miss You Colby] [ PYO Blueberries]

 

[Water for the Blueberries] [The Quiet Seasons] [E-mail ] [Crabtree's Collection Home Page]

 

Running our Trapline

 

While out picking blueberries you may have noticed some of the red SOLO cups hanging on green metal posts scattered around the blueberry farm.  These are traps designed to monitor the presence of an unwelcome new pest that has arrived in Maine, thanks to global warming.  They are baited with apple cider vinegar and collect insects drawn to them.

 

The Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) has been moving into Maine over the last three years and is something we’ve never had to deal with here – we were too far north!  This small fruit fly has the annoying habit of laying its eggs in ripe fruit.  The eggs then hatch into white larvae which consume the fruit.   

 

We run the “trapline” every week and count the number of SWD captured in the traps.  So far, the numbers have been very small, but at some point as numbers increase, we will be forced to spray our blueberries to control the infestation.  Untreated, the entire crop could be lost.   The Agricultural Extension Service has similar traps on farms around the state and send us a weekly report of SWD findings. 

When we spray we will be doing so once a week for the rest of this picking season, using primarily Spinosad, a natural insecticide.  Spinosad is a relatively new insecticide that is made up of two complex organic compounds that are produced by certain microbes that were first discovered in soil found at an abandoned rum factory.  Spinosad is a broad-spectrum, organic insecticide. The term "broad-spectrum" means that it is toxic to a wide variety of insects. It is, however, relatively non-toxic to mammals and beneficial insects.

 

When we spray we will post a notice for our blueberry pickers.  Although the berries you pick will still be safe to eat, as a precaution we will recommend that you wash them before eating them.  Sorry, since we delight in eating the berries right off the bushes. 

We are open at 8am on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and stay open until 2 pm.   It is cooler picking earlier in the morning on these hot summer days. 

·      Tues, Thurs and Saturday from 8:00 am till 2:00 pm

·      Sunday from 11:00 am till 3:00 pm

When I was mowing yesterday I did a quick survey of the varieties.  The early varieties are now nearly all picked out – you might find a bush with some berries left on them, but this is normal to have the early varieties picked out by now.  However, the late variety Elliott’s have ripened and are offering very good picking.  We expect to continue to have them for picking  through  the end of September.

The price for a pound of pick-your-own blueberries is the same as the last two years - $3.00/pound.  We’ve increased the cost of our pre-picked quarts 25 cents, to $7.00 a quart.  As easy as it is to pick your own and fill a bucket we expect most people will choose the pick-your-own option.

 

2016 - Status of Varieties

Blue Crop – Picked out

Berkeley – Picked out
Jersey – A few berries left
Blue Gold – Picked out
Little Giant – Picked out
Elliott – Good Picking

 

 

 

Two Ton Winner – August 7, 2016

 

Dianne Sinclair from Porter, Maine was the lucky picker who brought our total of

blueberries picked so far this 2016 season to Two Tons.  Here she is with her

certificate and blueberry dog in training Polly.

 

One Ton Winners – July 28, 2016

 

A family from Scarborough brought the total poundage of blueberries picked at

Crabtree's PYO Blueberries in Sebago on July 28,2016 to one ton!  Shown here

are Jenna Giguere and her girls Jaimie, Rhonda, and Jessica, along with Pollie,

our Blueberry Dog in Training.

 

 

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Rhonda Poliquin of Denmark was the lucky blueberry picker on August 8, 2015
that brought the total amount of blueberries picked
to 4,000 pounds. She is shown here with Polly, our
“blueberry dog in training” and Jake Johnson, who
is working at the farm this season.

 

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Our 2015 One-Ton Winner on 30 July
Kylie, Luke and Kristin Droptar from Windham, Maine
Shown here with Jake Johnson and Polly,
our new "blueberry dog in training".

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The Blue Crop, our early variety,
are like bunches of grapes on the bushes when they first ripen!

 

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Peggy Smith (l) from Otisfield, Maine, was the
lucky blueberry picker on August 19 2014
who brought the total berries picked at Crabtree's Blueberries
to two tons so far this season!
Picking continues strong, with the late variety
Elliott blueberries now ripening. Shown here with Peggy is
Tori Mailman (r) who is working at the blueberry farm this summer .

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Mary Noble (l) and Fran Zarnowski from Sebago, ME,
were the lucky blueberry pickers on August 2, 2014 who brought the
total berries picked at Crabtree's Blueberries to one ton
so far this season! It has been a great year for blueberries
and the picking is easy. The first ton benchmark was reached
after only nine days of picking, with many more predicted this season.
Shown here with Fran and Mary is Tori Mailman (r)
who is working at the blueberry farm this summer. .

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Martha Blue Davis from Denmark, ME, brought the total berries
picked this season to Two Tons, on August 18, 2013.
She is shown here on the right,
along with Colby the official Blueberry Greeter Dog
and her friend Heidi Lewis.

 

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We reached our first mile-stone of the 2013
Picking Season when notable local author Caroline Grimm
 from North Bridgton ME,  brought the total berries picked
at Crabtree's Blueberries to one ton so far this season!
We reached this on August 3, 2013 on the ninth day
of picking this year. Shown here with Caroline
is Colby the official blueberry greeter dog
and some pickers who applauded her effort.

 

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What a season this has been! On Sunday,
August 26, 2012 Robin Gosbee brought
the total blueberries picked this season
to four tons! She and her daughters come
regularly to pick at the blueberry farm
and live in Sebago. Robin is shown here
with her 4-ton certificate and Colby the
official blueberry greeter dog.

 

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Blueberry picking continues strong with
three tons of berries picked so far
this 2012 season at Crabtree’s Blueberries
in Sebago. Picking is expected to
continue well into September as the late
variety Elliotts continue to ripen. The
lucky pickers who helped us reach this
benchmark on Saturday, August 11, were
Malcolm and Debbie Barnes of the
Top-of-the-Hill-Grill in Casco. They
are shown here with Colby the official
blueberry greeter dog

 

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On August 2, 2012, Wendy Gaulrapp and her daughter Evi
were the lucky pickers who brought the total berries
picked at Crabtree’s Blueberries in Sebago to two tons
so far this season! She is shown here with Colby the
official blueberry greeter dog.

 

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Al Curns from Bridgton ME, was the lucky blueberry picker
on July 26, 2012 who brought the total berries picked
at Crabtree's Blueberries to one ton so far this season!
It has been a great year for blueberries and the
picking is easy. The first ton benchmark was reached
after only 5 days of picking, with many more predicted
this season. Shown here with Al is Colby the official
blueberry greeter dog

 

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Corin Meehan and Mary Whitworth picked the bucket
that brought our 2011 season
total to three tons of berries picked.
They are shown here with Colby the
official blueberry greeter dog.

 

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Marianne and John Scott picked the bucket
who brought our 2011 season
total to two tons of berries picked.
They are shown here with Colby the
official blueberry greeter dog.

 

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Mimi and Eben Lang were the lucky pickers
who brought our 2011 season
total to one ton of berries picked.
They are shown here with Colby the
official blueberry greeter dog.

 

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Blueberry picking continued strong during the 2010 season. The lucky
pickers who helped us reach the three-ton benchmark on August 28
were Peter and Karen Cutrone from Denmark. Presenting
them with their 3-ton certificate is Stella
Fillmore-Patrick (r) and Colby the official blueberry
greeter dog.

 

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Beth Chagrasulis, a regular blueberry picker
at Crabtree’s Blueberries from Standish
was the lucky picker who brought the total
berries picked to two tons so far this season
on August 3, 2010. She is shown here with
Colby the official blueberry greeter dog.

 

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Grace and Bob Davis from Limington, ME, were the lucky
blueberry pickers on July 25, 2010 who brought the
total berries picked at Crabtree's Blueberries to
one ton so far this season! It has been a great year
for blueberries and the picking is easy. The first ton
benchmark was reached after only 7 days of picking,
with many more tons predicted this season. Shown here
with Grace and Bob is Colby the official blueberry greeter dog

 

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Colby, the official blueberry greeter dog,
romps through the fallen autumn leaves
as he awaits his first customer of the day.

 

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Surprised two early blueberry pickers one morning
on my way out to open up for the day (Sept 26, 2009).
They didn't stick around to pick anything though -
they could have had all the berries they
wanted if they'd have stuck around for folks
to see 'em. These are the first moose we've
seen in our yard this year so far.

 

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Laurie Ettus and her friends, visiting from
Framingham, Mass, were the lucky blueberry
pickers who brought the total berries
picked at Crabtree's Blueberries to two
tons so far this season on August 20, 2009!
Shown here are (l-r) Steve Luoma, Jennifer
Meunier, Laurie Ettus, Corinne Myers, and
Jay Lanzafane. Front center is Colby the
official blueberry greeter dog.

 

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Vackie Kennil and Darby Shea visiting from
Minot, Maine were the lucky blueberry
pickers who brought the total berries
picked at Crabtree's Blueberries to
one ton so far this 2009 season! Shown here
are Vackie (l), Darby, and Colby the blueberry dog.

 

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Cindy Skoolicas (l) and Scott Brubaker
from North Baldwin, Maine
were the lucky blueberry pickers who
brought the total berries picked at
Crabtree's Blueberries in 2008 to two tons!
Shown here are Cindy, Scott,
Colby the official blueberry dog
and Allen Crabtree.

 

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Taylor Bushnell proposed marriage to
Kim Bishop in the blueberry patch
on August 21, 2008, and Kim accepted!
"We couldn't think of a more romantic location,"
Bushnell said. Bushnell and Bishop were
visiting colleges in Maine from
their homes near Portand, Oregon where
her father is a blueberry farmer also.
A date for the wedding has not yet been set.

 

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Several groups have brought picnic lunches
to make the picking a true summer family outing

Blueberries and Old Books?

We added a new feature to our Crabtree's Collection Old Books website in 2001 and every summer offer Pick-Your-Own Blueberries at our Maine Farmhouse. Stories about of our blueberry operation are linked to this page below. Check out the pictures of our place.

The first varieties of our highbush blueberries ripen around mid-July, and we then open our Pick-Your-Own Blueberry (PYO) operation to the public for the picking season. If you have been following the Maine Farmhouse Journals you know how pleased and proud we are of our old place here (see Bears in the Blueberry Bushes), and the PYO Blueberry operation gives us a chance to share a part of our experience with all of you.

Click on these links to get directions to the farm, our hours of operation and prices, information about the history of blueberries, and tips on picking and storing blueberries as well as links to several blueberry recipe websites. Getting Ready for Blueberry Season tells about some of the work that goes into having big, juicy blueberries for picking. We also have pictures showing what the blueberry patch looks like during the Quiet Seasons of autumn and winter.

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Large, juicy blueberries
hang in big bunches
for easy picking

When we purchased the Farmhouse in August 1998, one of the bonus features was the extensive mature plantings of highbush blueberries in the side field. The former owner, Dot, had planted and nurtured about 600 highbush blueberry bushes. They are now more than 25 years old and bear sweet, juicy blueberries the size of your thumb. The head-high bushes literally bend over under the weight of clusters of berries.

Since 1998 we have more than doubled the size of the berry patch with 900 new plantings. We have also installed a drip irrigation system and pamper the bushes with annual pruning, fertilizer twice a year, and regular weeding and mowing. We don't use any pesticides on our bushes and encourage people to eat the berries right from the bushes to add to their experience.

We opened the berry patch as a Pick-your-own operation in 2001 and it has become a wonderful experience for hundreds of families every summer. The picking is easy, and the berries are wonderful. There are several different varieties that ripen at different times during the summer, so there are blueberries to pick from mid-July until the end of September most years. It is not unusual to have good blueberry picking into early October, until the first hard frost comes and ends the picking season. We look forward to seeing you during the summer picking season - watch this page to see when the different varieties of highbush blueberries are ripe and ready to pick!

Please call us if you have any questions or suggestions, and we hope to see you at Crabtree's PYO Highbush Blueberries.

We are listed with the State of Maine "Get Real Maine" for PYO Blueberries in Cumberland County.

We are also listed on Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: http://www.thingstodo.com/images/logo_40.gifunder Regional Attractions - "Maine Lakes and Mountains Region".

Allen and Penny Crabtree
(207) 787-2730

[Blueberry Home Page] [Directions] [Hours and Prices]

[About Blueberries] [Blueberry Recipes] [Getting Ready for Blueberry Season]
[Colby's Letter to Camp Laurel] [ PYO Blueberries]

 

[Water for the Blueberries] [The Quiet Seasons] [E-mail ] [Crabtree's Collection Home Page]


Maine Blueberry banner and Sebago Map created by Allen F. Crabtree IV

This page was last updated August 24, 2016.

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 by Allen Crabtree