By Soren Rivero
Did you know that May is National Strawberry Month in the United States?
Strawberries are a staple summer fruit as they make for savory desserts, salads, and fruit juices. What makes summer even more exciting is that it's the best time to pick strawberries, as these juicy treats are in full bloom! If you want something unique to do in the summer, here are 10 of the best u-pick strawberry fields in the U.S.
Image by Stade's Farm and Market at stadesfarmandmarket.com ©
Stade’s Farm and Market (McHenry, Illinois)
Located on the very northern tip of Illinois, just 50 miles above Chicago, you’ll see a large red barn surrounded by an even bigger field. This is the home of Stade’s Farm and Market – the ideal place to buy fresh produce and baked goodies inside the farm market. During the prime picking season (April-July), it acts as a U-Pick field. They start off the season with strawberry picking in May then transition to other fresh produce such as raspberries in the late summer.
Image by Lewin Farms at Lewinfarm.com ©
Lewin Farms (Long Island, New York)
Lewin Farms is a fourth-generation family owned farm based in Long Island. They’re known not only for their impeccably fresh produce, but also for being one of the first u-pick farms in Long Island! You can pick strawberries, blueberries, and other delicious fruits in the summer season– but it doesn’t stop there! They invite guests all year, and even offer Christmas trees that you can harvest yourself.
Image by Liuzza Produce Farm at Facebook (@liuzzaproducefarm) ©
Liuzza Produce Farm (Amite, Louisiana)
As their Facebook page states, this small farm started off with as little as 20 acres and a dream of making it big. Some time later, they're now supplying the greater Louisiana area with fresh produce grown on over 600 acres of land. Strawberries are available during summer as well as other delicious fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupes.
Image by Berry Patch Farms at Facebook (@berrypatchfarms) ©
Berry Patch Farms (Brighton, Colorado)
If you want a unique summer date idea, head over to Berry Patch Farms to harvest your own strawberries! This quaint farm is family-owned and allows visitors to pick their own organic fruits and veggies all year. You can start with strawberries in mid-June, come back for pie cherries in July, then finish off the year with pumpkins in October.
Image by Tanaka Farms at tanakafarms.com
Tanaka Farms (Irvine, California)
Did someone say family-friendly summer activities? Maybe not, but still, Tanaka Farms hosts events for the entire family to enjoy on over 30 acres of land. They have a produce market open 9am-5pm daily, offer educational exhibits of barnyard animals, host luncheons, teach cooking classes, and more! You can also reserve a spot on the Strawberry Picking Tour, of course.
Image by Fairwinds Farm at fairwindsfarmmaine.com ©
Fairwinds Farm (Oxford County, Maine)
About an hour and a half up from the city of Portland is the well-known Fairwinds Farm. They specialize in all types of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and even dried beans. During the June season, you can pick your own strawberries for a reasonable price. Even better, their produce is responsibly grown and family-owned. They often travel to farmer’s markets and set up their own tables, so be on the lookout for their high-quality produce stalls around Maine!
Image by Localharvest.org (Fresh Gardens) ©
Fresh Gardens (Homestead, Florida)
Travel 35 miles south of Miami to visit the U-pick Fresh Farms in Homestead county. Strawberries might be available depending on the time of year but this farm actually specializes in unique tropical fruits. Starfruit and lychees are among the more popular varieties, though you’ll also find guava, dragon fruit, and more. Reservations are needed for a tour so be sure to call first! Pro Tip: Ask for “Farmer Bob”.
Image by Blessington Farms at BlessingtonFarms.org ©
Blessington Farms (Simington, Texas)
Strawberries bloom a little bit earlier in Texas because of the climate. If you want an earlier shot at some fresh berries to soothe your cravings, head over to Blessington Farms. Pick your own strawberry activities start in early February and last through May, while blueberries and blackberries are available for picking in June-July. You can also come in October for pumpkin picking, decorating, and other fun activities.
Image by Carandale Fruit Farms at carandalefarm.com ©
Carandale Fruit Farms (Oregon, Wisconsin)
If picking strawberries in the heat of May or June isn’t your thing, you should consider visiting Carandale Fruit Farms. This friendly bunch of farmers consistently updates their Facebook regarding their produce. Spring is typically too cold and wet for strawberries to fully bloom, so you’ll want to wait until late July for u-pick strawberries. But if you happen to visit earlier you can pick other delicious fruit such as organic black currants and aronia.
Image by Dickey Farms at gapeaches.com ©
Dickey Farms (Musella, Georgia)
Want to get your own peaches in Georgia? Dickey Farms has been in the peach growing business for over 120 years – woah! They offer both peach and strawberry pickings, so be sure to check out when each of them are in season. You can also get some BBQ brisket sandwiches and other unique items (such as Peach Hot Sauce) when you visit.