People love knowing where their food comes from, especially the novelty of picking the food yourself. In the West Orange area, shoppers have a lot of local farms to choose from.

From the Bekemeyer Family Farms off Story Road who offer hydroponic strawberry picking and fresh picked vegetables, to Lake Meadows in Ocoee who specialize in cage free chicken eggs and fresh poultry- there’s something local for every diet. Even local Ocoee U-Pick farm, Tom West Blueberries specializes in U-Pick blueberries, jams, honey and even honey butter. Yum! Shoppers can find hyper local produce in local markets like the Farmacy in downtown Winter Garden or can go direct to the farmers themselves.

Farming as a trade and business is often kept in the family and that story is the same for Scott West of Tom West Blueberries.
Scott West relates to the early origins of the farm as his grandfather started on the land with only a few orange trees. Scott’s father took over the business and added groves.

Journalism X at Ocoee U-PICK farm.

Once the freeze came in and the business started to slow it was young Scott’s idea to bring in the blueberries. Today, he and his 2 sisters run the farm and are just starting their 6th season.

Quick tip: Create a “u-pick” calendar highlighting when local farms allow you to pick your own veggies. Mark your calendars for the end of March for Tom West Blueberries U-PICK!

Story by:

Menu Hamlett

Age 12

Tatum Cempella
Age 11