REYNOLDSVILLE — A local blueberry farm has been passed down through three generations, and continues to thrive as time goes on.
Kim and Phil Engle are the current owners of Blueberry Hill Farm in Reynoldsville, which will be a part in the trolley field trip at the Red, White and Blueberry Festival this weekend.
Trolley rides will take families and berry pickers to Maxim Blueberry Farm and Blueberry Hill Farm on Saturday, offering the chance to pick and taste freshly-grown, local blueberries and support area farmers.
Kim Engle said her grandfather started planting the bushes in 1957, and the farm was passed down to her parents, and now to her and her husband. Many people may know the business by the name “Himes Blueberry Hill.” Himes is Engle’s former last name, and the farm is now simply, “Blueberry Hill Farm.”
Blueberry bushes are not only a beautiful sight, but if they’re planted right, you can pluck the tasty fruits right off the branch and eat them in the field. A bush has to be “mature” enough to bear fruit, which can take three or four years after planting. Most late-season berries are ready in mid July and August.
When Engle looks back in time, she recalls always being involved in her family’s blueberry farm and growing up there. So it was only natural that about 14 years ago, it was her turn to take over. She also considers it an enjoyable hobby.
Picking blueberries and walking through rows of scenic bushes is a unique experience and activity families can do together, Engle said.
“The kids really enjoy being out there, and being able to come out and play and pick,” she said. “It’s just a really good experience to do things with your kids again.”
Just as she remembers growing up around blueberry bushes, some of the people who visit the farm consider it a part of their childhood as well, Engle said.
“We have so many people tell us they came here with their parents and grandparents,” she said. “They remember coming when they were little.”
The farm has participated in Red, White and Blueberry Festival activities since it began five years ago. Engle’s daughter even dresses up in a blueberry mascot costume.
“It’s a great community thing, and people enjoy going back to local events,” she said. “It’s so nice to see people you know and support your family and friends.”
The festival has become a staple in the Reynoldsville community, and a way for local people and businesses to stay involved, Engle said.
Around the Fourth of July, the farm begins holding picking events every Saturday and Sunday until mid-August, Engle said. They also sell canned peaches and apples, collected from other farms.
Blueberry Hill Farm is located at 10160 Route 322, Reynoldsville. For more information, call 814-371-1871.