Charlotte’s Blueberry Park: FREE Blueberry Source (Tacoma)

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One of the joys of running this website has been to get great tips from you, my readers. Without a doubt, one of the best tips I’ve received in the last year has been to check out Charlotte’s Blueberry Park in Tacoma, Washington. Now I’m a Tacoma native, but would you believe I’d never heard of this place before?

DSCN0707 (800x580)So what is this place, exactly? ¬†Charlotte’s Blueberry Park is a 20-acre park located off 72nd Street in Tacoma that offers locals a wonderful opportunity to pick blueberries for the low, low price of FREE. The park boasts over 3,300 blueberry plants of different varieties that are in season from July – October.

As if that isn’t awesome enough check this out: “Metro Parks does not use any pesticides or fertilizers on the blueberry plants, they are grown naturally.” Sounds like they are pretty much organic, without the official certification. Just let that sink in for a moment folks…. chemical free, locally grown blueberries for FREE.

DSCN0719 (800x600)Now reader Kim left a picture on my Facebook page yesterday sharing how she’d picked 13 cups of blueberries. I decided that was good enough for me, so I popped the kids into the car today and decided to see what all the buzz was about.

DSCN0715 (599x800)There are just tons of blueberry bushes when you get there. But unfortunately for us (and maybe fortunately for my interested readers!), most of the blueberries are not ripe yet. I don’t normally go blueberry picking, so I nosily asked another lady there her thoughts and she suspected in a week and a half there would be lots more to pick.

DSCN0720 (800x768)A trip out now wouldn’t leave you entirely disappointed, however. We did find a few ripe ones – particularly at the tops of the bushes.

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I think my daughter was more excited about this small patch of dandelions than the blueberries!

DSCN0724 (600x800)Something else caught my eye at Charlotte’s Blueberry Park… fruit trees! I’m curious if these are up for grabs too. Maybe a call to Metro Parks is in order!

DSCN0725 (800x600)There are also several of these trees throughout the park:

DSCN0730 (800x615)So what are these? Are they some sort of berry? Some were golden, but others looked more orange in color. I’m wondering if I can eat them.

All told, we did not get a ton of blueberries today as most aren’t ripe yet, but we will most certainly be back! We’ll be turning these berries into homemade ice cream tomorrow.

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To learn more about this unique park, please visit Charlotte’s Blueberry Park page on the Metro Parks website.

If you liked this post, here are some others you might enjoy…

  • Wild Blackberry Picking & Preserving¬†
  • Strawberry Picking and Strawberry Vanilla Jam
  • West Hylebos Trail in Federal Way, WA
  • Edible Weed Foraging
  • 2013 Puget Sound Farm Guide (for additional u-pick options)

9 thoughts on “Charlotte’s Blueberry Park: FREE Blueberry Source (Tacoma)”

  1. The one photo you were questioning… looks like a Mountain Ash tree to me. Mine is quite a bit more orange already but its in full sun. They will turn deep orange/red by fall. I don’t think they are poisonous… my chickens eat the ones that fall. But I haven’t heard of anyone eating them.

  2. When I went yesterday, I at first only saw the white berries. I wandered pretty deep into the bushes battling spiders, bees, thorns and getting my hair tangled in branches. But it was all so worth it. Yes in another week there will be tons of ripe berries again. Keep in mind many people don’t want to wander into the unknown or are frightened by spiders so they pick the berries on the outside perimeter! The biggest and best berries are “hiding”. Next time I will definitely wear a hat!!!

    • No, not at all! We were just there today in fact – and the picking was great. There were still a ton of unripe berries left too – I bet there will be plenty even a week or two from now ready for picking!

  3. There are also red and black blackberries but the bushes are *very* thorny, so the kids shouldnt pick them and you may need some long gardening gloves!

  4. I had to share that my kids and I went to blueberry park tonight. Instead of picking blueberries we got stuck in the middle of a gang shooting and had to take cover in a nearby home. Unfortunately, my 7 year old son witnessed the whole thing. THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS GRIPPED BY VIOLENT CRIME. The Tacoma Police Department are doing nothing to increase patrol or protection. This is the 3rd shoot out in 1 year. The Tacoma Police didn’t even respond to our three 911 calls during the shooting last summer. It is sad that we can no longer safely go to our favorite park. I encourage ALL citizens to call our Mayor and start demanding a much larger office patrol on bikes and in vehicles to keep our kids safe. They actively patrol in Proctor District! Why not the Eastside?.

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