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.
Hellerick’s Family Farm 5500 Easton Rd. (Rt. 611), Doylestown, PA 18902, 215.766.8388.
Manoff Market Gardens 3157 Comfort Rd., Solebury, PA 18963, 215.297.8220.
None Such Farm Market 4458 York Rd. (Rt. 263), Buckingham, PA 18912, 215.794.5201.
Penn Vermont Fruit Farm Rt. 113 & Rolling Hills Rd., Bedminster, PA 18910, 215.795.2475.
Shady Brook Farm 931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, PA 19067, 215.968.1670. Pick your own strawberries any time the market is open.
Solly’s Farm Market 707 Almshouse Rd., Ivyland, PA 18974, 215.357.2850. Call ahead to find out when PYO begins.
Tabora Farm & Orchard 1104 Upper Stump Rd., Chalfont, PA 18914, 215.249.3016.
The Market at Del Val by Shady Brook Farm 2100 Lower State Road, Doylestown, PA 18901, 215-230-7170.
Trauger’s Farm Market Rt. 611, Kintnersville, PA 18930, 610.847.5702.
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 5, 2018.