As Sure As It's Berry-Picking Season, West Virginia Fruit and Berry Picked the Right Specialty
By Julie Perine on July 13, 2012
Blackberry picking season is just around the corner, but the crop at West Virginia Fruit and Berry is not flourishing.
“Unfortunately, nature has dried things up,” said Becky Titchenal, co-owner. “We may still have some. We’re watching them.”
A successful blackberry or blueberry picking season is always a plus and serves as icing on the cake to West Virginia Fruit & Berry’s steady retail and wholesale business.
“Over the years, we’ve become more of a jelly company than pick-your-own berry farm,” Titchenal said.
Becky and Bob Titchenal have a variety jellies, fruit butters, pepper jams, pie fillings and sparkling ciders available for sale at their on-site retail store or through their regional wholesale and mail order business.
Priding themselves on their mountain-like quality – with no additives, preservatives or corn syrup – the couple’s products feature traditional West Virginia-raised preserves such as Mountain Blackberry, Almost Heaven Black Raspberry and Red Raspberry.
Orders arrive from all over the country, with a strong mail order business regarding military deliveries, Titchenal said.
“It’s coast to coast every week and we get requests from outside of the country every now and then – like from New Zealand and Denmark,” she said.
West Virginia Fruit and Berry is located on the corner of Brushy Fork and Coplin Run Road.
The business first began in 1985 and has grown considerably.
“We started growing berries mainly for wineries in the state,” Titchenal said.
The effort involved 30 small fruit growers from throughout West Virginia and the project was headed up by West Virginia University Extension Office.
“We grew grapes and berries, then during winters, started making and marketing jams and jellies,” Titchenal said. “It started taking over our lives.”
West Virginia Fruit and Berry is open during berry picking seasons by appointment. Varieties include blackberries, black raspberries, red raspberries, golden raspberries and blueberries. Fresh produce is also available during the season.
“Blueberries are pretty much done this season. They were early this year. We started at the end of June,” Titchenal said.
As a rule, the hybrids raised by West Virginia Fruit and Berry and like growers have a later ripening season than wild berries, she said.
Blackberries will likely be ripe for the picking through early-August.
To make an appointment to pick berries or browse the Berry Patch Gift Shop , call West Virginia Fruit and Berry Preserves and Fruit Butter, 304-842-8945 (toll free 1-877-723-3046) or email email@example.com.
In addition to their own products, the West Virginia Fruit and Berry gift shop features other West Virginia food products – from honey and coffee to peppers and salsa – and Mountain State-made craft products, pottery and antiques. Custom gift baskets and boxes are available for local delivery or pick up.