LEON — A popular family-friendly activity is something many who grew up on a farm remember well.
These days, city folk can travel to pick fresh, ripened blueberries on a local farm that has embraced the organic way of life.
Four Seasons Farm has recently opened for “Blueberry U-Pick Season.” Farm owner Martin Schaffer explained customers also have the option to explore his farm and pick their own blueberries from around 1,000 blueberry bushes. The farm is open on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from sun up until sun down.
When Schaffer came to the United States from Czechoslovakia, he lived in New Hampshire and then Florida for years, but then decided he wanted to move in a different direction.
Schaffer said, “I wanted to change my lifestyle basically, I was looking for a farm and basically I didn’t care which state it was going to be in, it was just pure luck that I found a farm which I really like and it was one in West Virginia.”
When it comes to the blueberries, Schaffer said they have never been sprayed with chemicals. All of his crops are grown with natural fertilizer from the manure of the animals on his farm.
Schaffer also offers already picked berries at times. He explained his friend, neighbor will come in the evenings after the customers of the day have picked their berries and will clean out the remaining berries. Schaffer splits the berries 50/50 with his friend and will offer the already picked berries to customers the following day. He commented he does not always have the pre-picked berries available.
Schaffer explained the blueberries ripen quickly. They ripen during the night for a fresh batch in the morning hours and then by evening hours another batch will be ripened.
Four Seasons Farm is 110 acres and offers all organic products. Along with his crops, Schaffer has several animals on his farm such as roosters, chickens, honey bees, sheep, pigs, ducks, peacocks, turkey, and dogs to name some.
Though weather patterns change the exact opening and closing dates of the “u-pick season,” Schaffer explained the season is generally from late May until August. He added year round he can sell his eggs and his honey to interested customers.
Schaffer commented he also grows peaches, plums, apples, kiwis, and grapes. When available, customers can pick and purchase the peaches, plums, and apples.
Schaffer also offers other organic treats for customers, such as eggs and honey. The eggs are provided by his free roaming hens. He has regular pastured eggs, non-GMO eggs and even duck eggs. The honey is harvested raw from his honey bees.
Schaffer shared when the farm is open he will see around 30 to 40 parties of customers.
Schaffer shared he has buckets for picking and zip lock bags for the transportation home of the blueberries. Prices are posted at the farm for all items.
Four Seasons Farm is located at 8781 Evans Road (Rt.87) Leon, W.Va. 25123 and Schaffer keeps updates on the farm on his Four Seasons Farm Facebook page.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.