If you’re fortunate enough to live in Middle Tennessee, you have a ton of pick your own and fresh produce options available to you. You may already have your favorite farm or two, but here are a few more hidden gems in the Madison, Tennessee, area you might want to explore during your next family excursion.
Bottom View Farm
Bottom View Farm in Portland, Tennessee, is one of the have-it-all favorites of the region. This is an ideal destination for families with young children who are interested in picking fresh produce and want to turn the day into an adventure. The pick your own season opens with their Spring Spectacular when kids get to come out and see the newborn animals, ride a miniature farm train, and enjoy the outdoor play set with its pillow jump and slides. The farm offers berry picking from late April through July and apple picking from late July through August. The farm holds its Fall Festival in late September through November with traditional hayrides out to the pumpkin patch and Bottom View’s claim to fame, the world’s longest rolled-hay maze.
Typical hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. You are welcome to visit on weekdays to pick up some produce at the market or for select pick your own fruit, but you should know that most of the major attractions like hayrides and the miniature western town may not be open from Monday through Friday. Admission is a bit pricey at $10 per person for anyone ages three or older. Student admission is $7 and teachers enter for free with a school ID.
Circle S Farms
If you’re ready for an idyllic day outside with the family and aren’t looking for the semi-playground atmosphere that comes with some of the bigger farms, Circle S Farms in Lebanon is the place for fresh produce. It is located on Old Laguardo Road, about a 30 minute drive from Madison. They offer pick your own strawberries in May through June, blackberries in June, and blueberries from June through July. They usually end their season in August but happily, you can return after Thanksgiving to cut your own Christmas tree.
The Orchard at Cross Plains
The Orchard at Cross Plains is one of the few pick your own vegetable farms in the area. They offer a picnic area and encourage families to pack their own lunches and make a day of their farm adventure. What draws customers back year after year is the variety. In addition to pick your own staples like apples, berries, and melons, the farm offers peaches and plums and an impressive array of vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, and kale. The farm also specializes in southern staples like mustard greens, okra, sweet potatoes, and turnip greens.
The Orchard at Cross Plains is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but always call ahead to enquire about produce availability. You can get there in about 30 minutes via I-65 when driving from Madison.
If you are looking for something to do outdoors with the kids on a quiet Saturday, or simply want a day to yourself getting your hands dirty and enjoying the bounty of the Middle Tennessee region, these three family farms are the ideal destination.