Sweet Berry Orchard open for business

Published 6:12 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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It’s time to pick the fruits of the season.

Sweet Berry Orchard is located 20 minutes outside of LaGrange, and due to the large size of the farm, the orchard is still allowing locals to pick their own strawberries.

“We are giving you two rows, so that way, no one else goes on your row,” said Sweet Berry Orchard Owner LeighAnne Hagan. “We have a handwashing station and are sanitizing all our buckets. So, we are trying to do everything right.”

Hagan and her husband Tom began growing fruits and berries years ago, and are now selling their fifth harvest of strawberries.

The orchard has a dozen rows filled with strawberries ready and ripe to be picked.

Hagan said the strawberries regrow typically by the end of the day, even after the orchard is thoroughly picked out.

“As it gets warmer, you can pick almost three times a day,” Hagan said. “It is amazing how the sun and the weather does that. They are really easy and grow like weeds. You can’t stop them from growing.”

The orchard is planted every fall in a raised bed system. That way, the Hagan’s can have an early crop.

Hagan says they try not to spray pesticides and avoid it as much as possible.

The orchard is open for picking, but the Hagan’s will also pick for customers and deliver to their car.

“It is really fun to have people come and enjoy it,” Hagan said. “It is also a really big sense of satisfaction. I have done a lot of paperwork in my life, so nothing compares to this.”

Hagan said the seasonal aspect of the orchard is one thing she likes the most.

“It really helps you enjoy each thing,” Hagan said. “It just helps you enjoy the year so much more, I think than being an air-conditioned environment.”

The Hagan’s grow other berries and flowers throughout the year based on season, including grapes, blackberries, blueberries, daylilies and more.

The orchard also uses its own bees for pollination.

“It is even more important now to find something safe to do with your family,” Hagan said. “Going outdoors and food is one of the things we can have right now. The children really love it. There is not a child I have met that doesn’t like strawberries.”

After opening Monday, the farm was entirely picked by the end of the day. 

Every few days, the orchard needs to close down to allow more berries to ripen for picking, like all berry farms, so the orchard is open on a day-to-day basis.

Hagan is posting each day the hours on the Facebook page — Sweet Berry Orchard. Typically the orchard is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Those looking to pick can also email sweetberryorchard@gmail.com or call (772) 342-1224 for any questions or concerns.

Patrons can buy strawberries by the pound or by the gallon with cash or check.

The orchard is located at 6659 Lone Oak Road in Hogansville, with a large strawberry sign at the entrance.