East Texas blueberry crops hit hard by late season freeze, but plenty left for festival, pickers

East Texas blueberry crops hit hard by late season freeze, but plenty left for festival, pickers
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 1:14 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:51 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Nacogdoches Blueberry Festival is just over a week away, and this year’s blueberry crops look a little different.

A partnership between the City of Nacogdoches and The Blueberry Place provides a spot for people to pick their own berries during the Blueberry Festival. Owner Sherrie Randall said it’s a great partnership.

“We’ve been the touring farm for the festival folks for the last 22 years,” Randall said.

In mid-March, deep East Texas was affected by a freeze that came through the area. The temperature got down to 28 degrees and damaged some of the crops. Randall said The Blueberry Place has two crops, the early berries for the blueberry festival pickers and mid-season berries that finish out the rest of blueberry season. She said the early berries make up about 30 percent of the overall crop.

“They were already setting fruit so we lost at least half of them, but these bushes are so old so you will still find some early berries,” Randall said.

She said the majority of the berries will be found closer to the middle of the bush. Randal said the mid-season berries were not affected by the freeze.

“The good news is that the mid-season are coming in as well now so I think we will have plenty of berries for the folks attending the festival,” Randall said.

Randall said after every day of the festival she will go out and check how many berries are left.

She said you might not get to pick as many as usual but there should be some for everyone. Randall said she enjoys this partnership and continuing to bring berries for people not only during the festival but throughout the season.

“We love supporting the festival. The really nice thing is a lot of families, a ton of families come out and it’s always fun to see people through the festival that have never picked their own berries before,” Randall said.

She said with all the rain we have gotten, there is new growth on the bushes and that’s good for next years’ festival.

The Blueberry Place is open all throughout the season from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The weight of how much you pick determines your cost. It’s located at 451 County Rd 2052 in Nacogdoches. You can call them at (936) 559-9157.