Southern Hill Farms - Janet Bellacera

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     So what happens when you're scrolling through Instagram on a Saturday morning at 8 a.m.?  You find out that your favorite blueberry farm has just opened for the 2018 season and you eagerly wake up your husband to find out if he wants to go.  After about 30 minutes of him ignoring me, and covering his head, he finally gave in and said "sure".  Now...I am not stupid, I was not about to wake up the 3 teenagers at 8:30 in the morning.  That would just be a disaster, so I made my coffee and at 9 a.m. I ran into the hallway yelling "Who wants to go blueberry picking?  It's Blueberry season!" all while flinging their doors wide open.  I know...most of you are thinking "my kids would kill me" but my kids are very use to my shenanigans.  After some dirty looks and mumbling they all got up and we headed out the door to Southern Hill Farms.

     I was not only super excited to get there, but the drive to Southern Hill Farms is absolutely beautiful.  You know you're in Clermont Florida when you have hit the open, red clay roads, and drive along the country hillside.  The chance to do a little off-roading just added to the fun.  With that being said...keep in mind that this farm is NOT on a paved road, and you are NOT going to be parking in a paved parking lot.  You are parking either at the farm, or across from the farm in the cow pasture.   Everything about this farm from the location to the drive screams southern charm, and the fact that this family owned and operated farm sits on over 120 acres with 40 of that being their blueberry fields is just a bonus.    

What to See and Do

     My family and I have been coming to this blueberry farm for about the past 3 seasons, and every time I come, the family adds something new to the farm.  Right now here is what you'll find at Southern Hill Farms.  

Playground & Observation Deck

The playground is the perfect place for kids to run around. This covered playground has massive truck tires for climbing, swings, slides and huge tubes to crawl in. While the observation deck is more suited for adults, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the panoramic view from above.

Tractor Trailer Hayrides

For just a few bucks kids and adults are going to love the John Deer tractor trailer hayride. This cute hayride runs through out the day, and is the perfect way to see the farm

Southern Hill Farms Market

If you are looking for something cute to bring home, then you have to stop at the market. Full of all sorts of bath soaps, lotions, bath scrubs, hats, aprons, t-shirts and so much more all items are made right here on the farm. I personally love the blueberry-lemonade hand scrub, it smells amazing!

Southern Hill Beer Shed

Stop by the beer shed for beer, wine and mimosas. This is new this year, and while we completely forgot to stop by, we saw several people enjoying a cold one. My girls particularly love this drink, the blueberry-lemonade slushy. It is soooo good an perfect on a warm day.

Southern Hill Farms Eatery

So imagine a vintage Airstream serving every type of blueberry goodness possible. Yes that's you can find sweet blueberry muffins, warm blueberry cobbler, and while you might think it's odd, blueberry mustard perfect with a warm pretzel. Don't knock it until you try it!

Southern Hill Farm Main Pavillion

Here is where you will find picnic benches, the entrance to the Market, this is where you pick up your buckets for u-pick or my ultimate favorite the entire perimeter of this area has large wooden rocking chairs sitting under the shade looking out over the farm. This is where you can find me.

Places To Take A Selfie

Southern Hill Farms knows that every great place has to have a place to take selfies. Here my youngest daughter Kayla found this cute selfie station and decided to pose for me. There are 3-4 other selfie stations perfect for your checkin on IG or FB.

The Band Pavillion

This is another thing that was new this year. Most weekends you will find local bands playing in the pavilion. The pavilion also has picnic benches perfect for eating lunch from one of the many food trucks that are often there.

It's ALL about the Blueberry

     Interesting fun takes each flower on a blueberry bush to be pollinated by a bee 10-12 times before it's fully pollinated, once that occurs the flower will fall off of the bush and a blueberry will begin to form in its place, 60 days from this point is when most blueberries will ripen and are ready to be picked.  This 40 acre farm has 120 hives of honey bees working tirelessly to pollinate the 10 different varieties of blueberries offered at Southern Hill Farms.  They work around the clock to bring us some of the most delicious blueberries in Central Florida.  

10 Things you need to know...

#1  Be sure to wear sneakers, you will get dirty.

#2  Be sure to wear sunscreen.

#3  Be prepared to spend a few hours there.

#4  They have food trucks most weekends.

#5  You're allowed to taste before you pick.

#6  Don't pick the flowers, or the unripe berries

#7  This is not the place for pets, sorry!

#8  Go without the stroller, they have wagons.

#9  There is a fair amount of walking.

#10 Don't worry about the bees they are not

           there for you, they have more important

           things to take care of.

I love this place, how about you?

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