Local berry farm expands business with funds from Happy Valley Agventures grant program

Local berry farm expands business with funds from Happy Valley Agventures grant program

Looking for fresh from the farm berries? It's elderberry season and Mark MacDonald, owner of Bee Tree Berry Farm, says it is time to stop by for a visit!

“The strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries and currants are done, but elderberries are out in August—with the pumpkin patch starting early October.”

Bee Tree Berry Farm, located at 494 Benner Road in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, began with a small plot of strawberries in 2012 and has grown to more than 20 acres of sustainably cultivated berries and vegetables. Farming practices include crop rotation, use of cover crops, and composting with the goal of sustaining healthy soil. A visit to the farm is unique because customers can venture out and pick their own berries.

“Customers should wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and be ready for a short hike over uneven terrain to the U-pick fields,” MacDonald said. “Please be prepared for weather with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. A water bottle is also recommended.”

Bee Tree Berry Farm was awarded funding through the Happy Valley Agventures grant program in May. MacDonald said the funding will be used to expand his business to include a farm stand with a cooling system to keep produce fresh for those who don’t want to pick their own.

“We’re adding a walk-in cooler which will allow us to provide customers with fresh picked fruit and vegetables daily. We’ll be opening a self-serve daily farm stand which will offer fresh picked seasonal berries and produce along with our seasonal U-pick options.”

MacDonald recommends following Bee Tree Berry Farm on Facebook to see the latest updates about their operating hours and produce supply.

“U-pick hours are determined by availability. We do daily posts on Facebook and update phone information daily."

Fall activities at the farm include a pumpkin patch and a children’s maze.

Bee Tree Berry Farm produce is also available at the Boalsburg Farmers Market which runs from 2–6 p.m. on Tuesdays in the parking lot at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, 51 Boalsburg Avenue.

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Posted by Christie on 08/20/2022