Prairie Hill Blueberry Farm began almost 20 years ago when a local couple made a commitment to do the nearly impossible: grow blueberries in Illinois corn country where the alcaline soils were anything but blueberry friendly. Before a single blueberry bush could be planted, for 3 seasons the soil had to be amended with sulfur to create the acid soil blueberries require. Then, after an additional 3 year wait for the bushes to develop, the farm opened to pickers.
In 2005 the farm was purchased by John and Barb Kieft as a retirement project. For 35 years Kieft had been a Chicago based Foundry CEO, and the prospect a blueberry farm in the great outdoors had just the right appeal. After attending a University of Illinois berry seminar, and a winter of studying blueberry cultivation, John and Barb began, in earnest, the restoration of the property and the orchard. Today, people from all through central Illinois and "U-Pickers" from throughout the Mid-west visit the farm annually.
The farm features an abundance of large, sweet berries framed in a beautiful, serene, park-like setting. It reminds one of the gentler days of years past.
Pickers often ask where to find the sweetest fruit. Our answer is always the same, "Eat your way through the berry patch until you find the flavor you like best. And besides, if you eat a pound for every pound you pick, it's like getting the berries for half-price!"
So, bring your friends, grand kids, and family members. And whether you spend an hour or a day, it will be a memorable outing.