For the 2015 update of this post, CLICK HERE.
It’s strawberry season! Just think of biting into a juicy, ripe, berry that doesn’t need a tractor-trailer to reach your mouth!
Nearly every farm we’ve spoken to will not have pick-your-own strawberries until the second week of June. It’s a late season this year because the nights have been so cold.
There are farms that do have their strawberries for sale, even though the pick-your-own patches aren’t ready. Many farms have berries that are already picked, but picking your own is a lot of fun (and usually cheaper).
If you’re heading out to one of the many local farms that have PYO strawberries, here are some tips that may help:
- Always call before showing up at the farm (especially this early in the season). Depending on the weather, berries may not be ripe or may be picked out. Ask them if you need to bring your own containers. It isn’t a bad idea to check out a farm’s website, which usually has good information.
- Only pick firm, plump and fully red berries. Unripe strawberries won’t ripen after being picked. Grasp the stem just above the berry, between the forefinger and thumbnail. Then pull, with a slight twisting motion. Be gentle putting them in the container.
- Help out the farmers by removing any rotten, bug-eaten or other “bad” berries. Rot will spread quickly to the “good” berries.
- As far as strawberries are concerned, size DOESN’T matter. As long as they are completely red, they’re good to pick. Some even say that the smaller berries taste better.
- The best time to pick strawberries is early on a cool, cloudy day. They’ll last longer than in the heat. Plus, you won’t end up looking like a berry from sunburn!
- Once picked, keep them out of the sun and heat as much as possible. Cool them down as soon as you can. And never wash them until you’re ready to use them—moisture will hasten rotting. Here are some other tips on cleaning strawberries properly.
- Try not to pile the berries more than 5 inches deep in your container. The ones on the bottom will start to bruise from the weight.
- Don’t pick more than you’re going to use. Strawberries will quickly mold at room temperature and will only last a couple of days in the fridge. If you’re not going to use them right away, wash them, cut off the hulls and freeze them in a zipper bag (be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible).
Brumbaugh’s Farm 2575 County Line Rd., Telford, PA 18969, 215.723.3508. Pick your own should start in early June.
Hellerick’s Family Farm 5500 Easton Rd. (Rt. 611), Doylestown, PA 18902, 215.766.8388. Strawberries for sale in early June.
Manoff Market Gardens 3157 Comfort Rd., Solebury, PA 18963, 215.297.8220. Strawberries available for purchase now. Pick your own will start around June 12.
None Such Farm Market 4458 York Rd. (Rt. 263), Buckingham, PA 18912, 215.794.5201. Strawberries available for purchase now. Pick your own starts Thursday, June 5.
Peace Valley Winery 300 Old Limekiln Rd., Chalfont, PA 18914, 215.249.9058. Pick your own starts Saturday, May 31.
Penn Vermont Fruit Farm Rt. 113 & Rolling Hills Rd., Bedminster, PA 18910, 215.795.2475. Pick your own projected to start in early June.
Sandy Ridge Farm Market 925 Sandy Ridge Road, Doylestown, PA, 215.340.1042. Because they planted late variety strawberries, they are not yet ready this season. Best to call ahead for availability.
Shady Brook Farm 931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, PA 19067, 215.968.1670. Pick your own strawberries now! Any time the market is open.
Solly’s Farm Market 707 Almshouse Rd., Ivyland, PA 18974, 215.357.2850. Strawberries available for purchase now. Pick your own starts in early June. Call ahead to find out.
Tabora Farm & Orchard 1104 Upper Stump Rd., Chalfont, PA 18914, 215.249.3016. Pick your own starts the second week in June.
The Market at Del Val by Shady Brook Farm 2100 Lower State Road, Doylestown, PA 18901, 215-230-7170. Pick your own strawberries – special event June 7 and 8.
Trauger’s Farm Market Rt. 611, Kintnersville, PA 18930, 610.847.5702. Strawberries available for purchase now. Pick your own projected to start first week in June.
If we missed any, PLEASE let us know. We’ll update the post.
Thanks to Rich Baringer for the original version of this post, and to Sarah Wingert for doing the research.
This post was updated on June 2, 2014
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