Nothing screams summertime in the Pacific Northwest like getting your hands dirty with berry picking. While it’s not officially summer yet, thanks to our recent sunny spring days the berries have arrived. Whether this is your kids’ first time at the berry patch or if you’re looking to fill dozens of ruby red jam jars, we’ve rounded up seven U-pick strawberry farms, just a short drive from Seattle, where you and your sweetie can pick until your hearts’ content.
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
Good to Know Before You Go
Heirloom berries (which is what you’ll be picking at these farms) are best eaten or processed (frozen or turned into jam) within a day or two of being picked. So be sure to plan ahead and invite the neighbors over for some shortcake or smoothies or strawberry pancakes for a summertime feast when you return. We also suggest calling ahead or checking websites for day-of confirmation that berry patches are open. All picking dates/times are weather dependent and can change based on availability.
What to Bring:
1. Your own pails or buckets. You can buy buckets at all the farms, but save yourself a few dollars and BYO.
2. Sunscreen and hats. Strawberry patches are in full sun, so be prepared to be out in the heat while you are picking.
3. Wet wipes and a change of clothes (for the kids, and for you!). Rule of berry picking #47 – You will kneel on a berry. You will dribble strawberry juice down your shirt. Bring a few extra duds and some wet wipes for hands and faces, and your drive home will be much more comfortable.
4. A small stool or gardening pad. Strawberries are low hanging fruit. They’re easy to spot, and (thankfully) have no thorns to worry about, but you’ll be kneeling or sitting on the ground as you pick. Your knees and lower back will thank you if you bring along something to sit on. Fortunately, kids are small and already closer to the berries, and you know they’ll love the excuse to sit in the dirt, so really, this is just for you.
5. Cash. Many of the farms accept plastic, but some don’t and often you can jump to the front of the line if you pay cash.
6. Room in the trunk (and in the freezer). Berries take up more room than you think, so take out the stroller before heading out so you can lay them flat. Freeze whole berries quickly and easily by laying them (washed and dried) on a cookie sheet. That does, however, mean that you’ll need a bit of extra space before you bring those little sweeties home.
photo: Karen Sandler via flickr
If you want gourmet berries along with your old faves, Biringer Farm is your spot. Here, you’ll find strawberries, raspberries, tayberries (a delicious mix between a Scotland raspberry and a Oregon blackberry), blackberries and thimble-sized black caps! Be sure to check their website for event updates such as their annual Strawberry Fest (June 17-18 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and Raspberry Fest (in July) with rides, inflatables, face painting and more!
Cost: $2.75/lb for U-pick and pre-picked strawberries
Open: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Good to Know: Biringer Farms opens on Wed., June 7 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Picking schedules are weather dependent and fields close frequently to allow berries to ripen. Call first or check their berry homepage or Facebook page to make sure fields are open.
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
Remlinger Farms has been a family favorite for decades, and for good reason. In addition to the rotating seasonal U-pick patches (strawberries in late May and June, raspberries in July and blueberries in July/August as well as pumpkins in the fall), there’s a Family Fun Park with a steam train, a 4-H animal barn where you can pet a llama or goat as well as a Ferris wheel and roller coaster and lots of other attractions. There’s also tons of free parking! Psst… containers are provided, so you can leave yours at home and since Remlinger Farms uses only natural fertilizers, their berries are safe to eat right from the field!
Cost: Prices vary. Berries are sold by the pound and are weighed when you are done picking right there in the field. Cash only.
Open: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. May-August for U-pick berries.
Good to Know: Remlinger Farms hopes to open the weekend of June 10, but picking schedules are weather dependent; fields also close frequently to allow berries to ripen or close if fields are over picked. Check their website or Facebook page for daily updates and times the patches are open. Or give them a call at 425-333-4135 x250.
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
Harvold Berry Farm
If you want an old-fashioned, straight-forward U-pick experience, check out Harvold Berry Farm in Carnation for U-pick strawberries and raspberries. Your kiddos will surely finish their suppers lightening quick if they know that their self-picked berries await them for dessert! This field is kid-friendly, but not dog-friendly so leave Fido at home. Strawberry varieties are Puget Reliance, Puget Crimson and Shuksan; raspberries are Tulameen.
Cost: 1.30/lb. Cash Only. Take home containers provided at no cost.
Open: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed on Sun. U-pick open May-Aug.
Good to Know: Harvold Berry Farm is aiming to open on June 20, but picking schedules are weather dependent and fields do close frequently to allow berries to ripen. Call first or check their Facebook page to make sure fields are open.
photo: Jessica Granstrom
Bolles Organic Berry Farm
Looking for an idyllic and organic berry picking experience? Look no further than Bolles Organic Berry Farm in Monroe (aka a berry picker’s dream!). With rows of organic strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, you can pick to your heart’s delight and pop those sweet little gems right into your mouth knowing they were grown in pesticide-free dirt. Organic honey, veggies and herbs are also available at the farm.
Cost: $2.75/lb for strawberries. Cash, check, debit and credit accepted.
Open: May-Aug. Hours change daily, but often are 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Good to Know: Bolles is hoping to open between June 5-10, but picking schedules are weather dependent and fields close frequently to allow berries to ripen. Check their Facebook page for daily updates on what’s available.
photo: Garden Treasures Nursery & Organic Farm Facebook page
Garden Treasures Nursery & Organic Farm
Part nursery, part farm, part U-pick destination, Garden Treasures in Arlington has a lot to offer to those looking for a farm adventure ending in an all-organic basketful of berries. This is a smaller scale operation, but it is lovingly maintained with a few U-pick patches. And they do sell pre-picked berries by the half and full flat. Check out their strawberries, raspberries and tayberries for a sweet take-home treat. Psst… you may just love it so much that you sign up for their CSA!
Open: May-Oct. Tues.-Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Mon.
Cost: Pre-picked berries $20/half flat; $38/full flat.
Good to Know: Picking schedules vary. Call for daily updates or check their Facebook page.
photo: Jessica Granstrom
Picha’s Berry Farm
Third generation farmers, Dan and Russ Picha, are carrying on the family business begun by their grandfather Mathias Picha in 1904 and continued by their father Ted Picha. Known for producing some of the juiciest, sweetest berries in the South Sound, it’s no wonder families flock to Picha’s Berry Farm every summer. Strawberries are the only U-pick berries, but the Farm does offer pre-picked blackberries and raspberries in July. And the offer a robust selection of strawberries, including Shuksan, Totem, Rainier and Puget Summer.
Open: May-Oct. Berry stand opens at 8:30 a.m. daily, weather permitting; closing times
vary, depending on when they sell out of berries—typically between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Good to Know: Keep an eye on their Facebook page for strawberry picking dates starting in the middle of June.
Picha’s berries are available at two convenient locations—in Puyallup (just off River Rd. at 66th Ave. E.) and in Tacoma (one block east of Mt. Tahoma High School). Strawberry U-pick is only available at the Puyallup location.
6502 52nd St. E.
Puyallup, Wa 98371
Cash, checks, debit & credit cards accepted
74th & Tyler
Cash and checks only
photo: Bailey U-Pick Farm
Bailey U-Pick Farm
Located on 350 acres in the Snohomish Valley, Bailey U-Pick Farm started in 1986 with only two acres of U-Pick and has since grown to over 40 acres! Bailey Farm is family owned and operated and has been in the family for over 100 years. Started in 1913, five generations of Baileys have lived and worked on the farm. The Farm operates June through October with strawberries available for U-pick in June, raspberries in July, vegetables (potatoes, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, peas, carrots, beets, flowers, cabbage and onions) July through October, apples mid September to mid October and a pumpkin patch in October with free wagon rides and a play barn on weekends. Psst… the Farm recently partnered with PCC Farmland Trust to ensure that it will never be developed, it will forever be a farm. How cool is that?
Open: June-Oct. Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $2.50/lb. Cash and all major credit cards accepted.
Good to Know: The Farm will open for U-pick on June 6 & 7 from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Picking schedules vary and fields often close to allow berries to ripen. Call for daily updates or check their Facebook page. If you miss their U-pick dates, you can find their berries at the Snohomish farmers market.
12711 Springhetti Rd.
Snohomish, Wa 98296
If you shop your local farmers markets, do look for local strawberries from your favorite farm stands such as Hayton Farms, Tiny’s Organics, or Skagit Sun Berries. Psst! If you can’t get to a farmers market, Skagit Sun Berries brings its heirloom strawberries to Metropolitan Market and Whole Foods.
Where is your favorite place to pick strawberries with your pint-sized crew? Tell us in the Comments below!
— Katie Gruver & Kristina Moy