Daniel Huggett is a third generation turf grass producer and blueberry farm entrepreneur, who inherited his passion for agriculture and berries from his father, who grows 200 acres of cranberries in Michigan.
However, Hugget moved his passion down U.S. 23 to Pickaway County, Ohio to start his own blueberry farm, known as Blueberry Valley.
“Pickaway County is ideal for my business because it has prime soils and abundant water supply,” he said.
Managing a sod business on top of the blueberry farm keeps Huggett busy, but he makes a conscious effort to keep up with all his duties, including finding time to make Blueberry Valley a fun place for all.
“It’s a social place where people can spend quality time together and enjoy rural Pickaway County,” he said.
At the farm’s entrance, customers will find the Blueberry Barn, which is filled with freshly-picked blueberries, blueberry jams and jellies, blueberry salsa, blueberry pie filling and other blueberry goodies.
More than just a delicious addition to your meal, blueberries provide health benefits as well.
“The blueberries are very nutritious; they’re filled with antioxidants, which help prevent cancer, maintain good heart health and help your immune system,” said Huggett.
Visitors can also find honey in the Blueberry Barn. The Huggetts have 19 beehives they use to produce honey and pollinate the blueberries. “Our honey is raw honey, which means it’s never pasteurized or high-pressure filtered. Raw honey will last forever,” Huggett said.
When visitors need their blueberry fix, they can either pick up some freshly-picked blueberries or they can gather their own. If customers choose to pick their own, they can pick up a harvesting bucket from the Blueberry Barn any day of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then, they head out to the bushes where they can pick from many different types of blueberries.
“We have 20 acres of farm fresh blueberries and over seven different varieties of blueberries – duke, patriot, bluecrop, bonus, aurora, elliot, blueray and bluejay,” said Huggett, who provides tips to help pickers select the best ones in the field.
“There’s a natural film on the berries that people often mistake as a defect,” he said. “That is actually an indicator of the ripeness level of the berry, similar to bananas. Also, the darker the berry, the sweeter it will taste.”
The farm also provides many recipes for preparing the fruit to eat. Some of the Huggett’s favorites are blueberry smoothies, pies, jams and jellies, pancakes and waffles. You can find many other tasty recipe ideas on Blueberry Valley’s website at columbusblueberry.com.