“Welcome to Upicktopia,” owner Dan Ebbecke said as he greeted his customers.
Ebbecke has been farming in Hernando County since 1996. He began with just one acre of blueberries which has grown throughout the years into a large 56-acre u-pick farm offering a wide variety of berries for customers to select.
Strawberry season traditionally starts in late November and with the cultivar varieties and implementing different planting techniques, berries have the opportunity to fruit even into the early summer.
“Florida has a unique window for growing strawberries with most places in the world growing them in the spring and summer but, because our winters are more conducive to growing strawberries, that is when we grow them,” Ebbecke explained.
Upicktopia farm offers a wide variety of strawberries for his customers to choose from; University of Florida strawberries include; Florida Brilliance, Florida Beauty, and Florida Radiance, as well as a British variety called Red Merlin. “Each has their own character but the Red Merlin variety takes the heat better,” Ebbecke said. “I like them because they have a great depth of flavor, red all the way through, a nice big berry and easy to pick.”
If you are looking for more than just strawberries for your u-pick experience, there is also an acre and a half of assorted vegetables to decide on and, when in season, five acres of blueberries and blackberries.
For a list of ‘ready to pick’ fruits and vegetables, visit their website at www.upicktopia.com/
IF YOU GO
19125 Phillips Rd. Masaryktown,
Phone: 352- 308-0110
Email: [email protected]