SIX MILE — Part III of In Your Back Yard, a series designed to give parents ideas for family friendly activities during the summer months, takes us to Six Mile to The Happy Berry.
Tucked away at the end of Gap Hill Road off S.C. 183, The Happy Berry definitely qualifies as a hidden gem of Pickens County. The “pick your own” farm is run by the Miller family, headed up by owners Walker and Ann and is typically open from June 1 through September, dawn to dusk.
“We say that we open at 8 a.m. but really, our gates are open earlier than that,” said Walker Miller. “In fact, with as hot as it’s been, sometimes it’s easier to come in either the earlier or later hours. Stay out of that direct sunlight. If the gates are open, park your car and come on in and pick.”
The farm seasonally offers blackberries, blueberries, grapes, muscadines and figs. Persimmons, goji and mulberries have been added to the list as well but haven’t come “on line” just yet.
In season right now? Blueberries! And they are everywhere, just dripping from the bushes.
Jordan Colosimo and his younger brother Dylan were at The Happy Berry with their family and competed to see who could fill their pint containers fastest.
“You’re in my territory!” shouted Jordan.
Later, echoing through the rows of fruit laden plants, Dylan could be heard exclaiming: “Hey! Hey! Come and look! I found the mother-lode!”
According to Dylan, the secret to finding the biggest berries is all location, location, location.
“You got to get in the real sunny spots, then you have to reach way up and pick the ones on the top. Those are the best ones,” he grinned as his purple stained fingers continued to pull hand-fulls of berries from the branches.
Although The Happy Berry has buckets to lend, you’re better off to bring your own if you’re planning on having a substantial haul. And when you’re a hot, sweaty, blue stained mess and ready to call it a day, just head on up to the old tenant house that serves as the farm’s headquarters to have your loot weighed.
Snacking on the fruit while picking is encouraged as the staff states that there is “no better way to learn what is a ripe berry,” but if you’ve eaten more than you’ve picked, don’t worry, there’s a “sin bucket” where cash donations are accepted for, let’s say, any “unweighed” fruit.
Sales are made right on the front porch where pick-your-own blueberries are going for a mere $2.50 a pound.
Tip for the trip: wear lightweight, breathable clothing that you don’t mind getting stained and bring lots of water to carry around with you (although water coolers are sitting on the porch for thirsty pickers.)
The Happy Berry is located at 510 Gap Hill Road in Six Mile. In addition to picking your own fruit, the farm also sells pre-picked berries as well as fresh eggs.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.