U-Pick berry fields opening at Columbiana farm

Jim "Buster" Suttle displays blueberries that will be available soon for U-Pick customers at Mountain Meadows Farm in Columbiana. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

Jim “Buster” Suttle displays blueberries that will be available soon for U-Pick customers at Mountain Meadows Farm in Columbiana. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – As he took a break from tending fields at Mountain Meadows Farm on May 6, Jim “Buster” Suttle answered a telephone call from someone inquiring about the farm’s U-Pick fields.

Suttle gave the caller a synopsis of his operating hours for the fields, in which customers can fill gallon baskets with berries they pick themselves.

“U-Pick was part of my original mission to get people to get out and enjoy this farm the way the Suttle family has,” Suttle said.

Suttle said strawberries are currently available for picking on a limited basis Sunday–Wednesday, and blueberry and blackberry fields will open for picking the first week of June.

The cost for U-Pick is $20 per gallon for all berries. Cash and checks are accepted.

U-Pick for blueberries will last through the end of July, and for blackberries through June, Suttle said.

Suttle said “it’s always wise” to call the farm before coming to check U-Pick hours for certain days.

The farm provides customers with baskets for picking and grocery bags for taking berries home.

Suttle also sells produce and homemade jams at local farmers markets, including Pepper Place and Crestline, from April through early October.

His jams consist of blueberry, pepper jelly and salsa.

In July, Suttle said he will have tomatoes, peppers, peas and beans available on the farm.

Suttle and his two brothers grew up on the 188-acre farm their parents purchased in 1955.

After living out-of-state for many years, Suttle returned when his father passed away eight years ago and took over the farm’s maintenance.

“The whole family loves this place,” Suttle said. “I’d always planned to retire here. I love every minute of it. My dad took great care of the place.”

Suttle has experimented with different crops on the farm. His newest crop is asparagus, and he started planting walnut and chestnut trees this winter.

Suttle also grows and sells Christmas trees.

Mountain Meadows Farm is located at 1824 Highway 30 in Columbiana.

For more information, visit Mountainmeadowsfarmal.com. For U-Pick days and times, call 260-3124.