Most people use holidays or seasonal changes to mark the passing of time. In our house, we know what time of year it is by what’s in season. We know we are in the heart of summer when the wild berries are ready for picking.

Nate Stefanich holds a couple of bowls of fresh wild blueberries. Tasty!
Nate Stefanich holds a couple of bowls of fresh wild blueberries. Tasty!

Wild Black Raspberries

We live in southern Will County where the soil is very sandy, and acidic in some places, which is conducive to wild blackberries. They grow as a briar-like bush along the edges of woods or hedgerows with exposure to full sun. They are full of thorns, so you need to be careful when picking. They are also very seedy, so we usually make preserves out of them, but you can use them as a topping on salads or cereal if you don’t mind the seeds. They are usually ready to pick around the middle of July.


Blueberries are nutritionally one of the best kinds of berries you can eat. They are low in calories and loaded with antioxidants (which help remove harmful oxygen derived free radicals from the body and thereby protect the body from cancers, aging, degenerative diseases and infections.). Although you will be hard-pressed to find wild blueberries, you can pick your own at Tammens Treeberry Farm. Their blueberry farm is located in Southern Will County, between Braidwood and Essex. Their “pick-your-own” blueberry farm is one of Will County’s gems. They load visitors up on wagons, take you out to the blueberry fields where you can pick as many blueberries as you can. They then take you back to the entrance where you weigh and pay for your harvest. If you want to get in on the action, you had better hurry. They are only going to be open for a few more days.

We love taking the kids out to the farm to pick our own fresh blueberries. The family-owned farm also has Christmas trees, so you can cut your own tree when the holidays approach (another great family activity!)

For more information, visit tammentreeberryfarm.net. It’s best to call the farm at 815- 458-6264 to see if they are open for picking.

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