While we may eat them more in desserts than we should, strawberries are still our favorite summer fruit. Heads up!: it’s strawberry season right now, and the window for picking typically only lasts about a month, so don’t miss the chance to pick your own strawberries with the kids. Take a look at our favorite farms below where you can do just that, and don’t forget to call ahead to check strawberry availability. (Depending on the season and the farm, strawberries may only be available for a limited time. Hey, it’s a popular fruit!)

photo: via James Lee on Flickr

New Jersey

Sussex County Strawberry Farm
You know a farm is serious about strawberries when its name includes the word “strawberry.” Sussex County Strawberry Farm is owned by two families who have been working the fields for more than 30 years. For all you pick-your-own newbies, check out their helpful tips on how to find and pick the perfect strawberry. The farms also sells a wide variety of flowers, vegetables, and herbs if you’re in the mood to shop.

Insider Tip: Come back in August to pick raspberries here!

Sussex County Strawberry Farm
565 Route 206 North
Andover, Nj
Mon.-Fri., 9a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-4p.m.
973-579-5055
Online: sussexcountystrawberryfarm.com

Alstede Farms
Spend the whole day at the huge Alstede Farms, which offers everything from picking strawberries to feeding barnyard animals. The first three weekends of June, Alstede Farms lays out the red (strawberry?) carpet for its Strawberry Harvest Festival. Sink your teeth into every type of strawberry treat imaginable, play on the hay pyramid and then take a tractor ride around the grounds.

Insider Tip: The farm’s pet policy allows for you to bring your pet with you to the farm (most prohibit this), but understandably won’t allow them to roam the picking area.

Alstede Farms
1 Alstede Farms La.
Chester, Nj
Daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
908-879-7189
Online: alstedefarms.com

Farms View
Around since 1894, this farm is the real deal. In addition to U-Pick strawberries for the whole family, they’ve also got a ton of fresh produce available ranging from arugula to rhubarb to swiss chard.

Insider Tip: Follow the farm’s Facebook page to stay up to date on the latest crop conditions

Farms View
945 Black Oak Ridge Rd.
Wayne, Nj
Hours: Mon. – Sat. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
973-839-1212
Online: farmsview.com

Terhune Orchards
With barnyard animals, farm walking trails, and pony and tractor rides, there’s plenty to do for the kids after you’ve had your strawberry fill.

Insider Tip: On select Tuesdays, the farm hosts Read & Pick, an innovative program for younger kids that combines picking fruit and listening to a story highlighting an in-season fruit or farm area.
Terhune Orchards
330 Cold Soil Rd.
Princeton, Nj
Orchard open daily, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
609-924-2310
Online: terhuneorchards.com

 

rt-strawberry-farm-earthworm

photo via: Golden Earthworm Organic Farm Facebook page

Long Island

Golden Earthworm Organic Farm
Nestled on 85 acres of farmland on the North Fork of Long Island, Golden Earthworm Farm is a certified organic family farm. Started by Matthew Kurek, a chef turned farmer with a passion for vegetables and sustainable agriculture, Golden Earthworm Farm opens up its two acres of strawberry fields once a year starting in June. The farm also offers Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership, providing a weekly share of the organically-grown harvest during the local growing season for an annual fee.

Insider Tip: Their website has a great resource for recipes organized by key ingredient. Check out their strawberry recipes here.

Golden Earthworm Farm
652 Peconic Bay Blvd.
Riverhead, Ny
631-722-3302
Call for most updated hours, as during U-Pick season hours may be extended
Online: goldenearthworm.com

Patty’s Berries & Bunches
Owner Patty DiVello of Patty’s Berries & Bunches has been in the berry-picking biz for quite a while now. Her parents were potato farmers, and now Patty continues the family tradition with her berries and bunches (as in flowers). Check out the farm’s Berry Chart to gauge when it’s prime time for picking.

Insider Tip: Immerse yourself in all things strawberries at the 61th Annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival June 18th-21st, from chowing down strawberry shortcake to cheering on the newly-crowned Strawberry Queen.

Patty’s Berries & Bunches
410 Sound Ave.
Mattituck, Ny
Farmstand open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (Pick your own ends at 5:30pm)
631-298-4679
Online: pattysberriesandbunches.com

 

photo: via Big Ben in Japan on Flickr

Upstate New York

Lawrence Farms Orchards
With its scenic background of rolling hills, Lawrence Farms Orchards is the perfect place to “go country” for a day. Besides picking strawberries, you and the kids can feed playful goats and chase the chickens. Afterwards, sample some homemade doughnuts at the country store and then climb aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a tour of the farm (weekends only).

Insider Tip: You can kind of “U-Pick” anything here, depending on the season. Check out the full list of crops through the summer into fall here.

Lawrence Farms Orchards
39 Colandrea Rd.
Newburgh, Ny
Daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
845-562-4268
Online: lawrencefarmsorchards.com

Thompson-Finch Farm
Going strong for five generations, the Thompson-Finch Farm is definitely doing something right. This certified organic farm used to sell only to restaurants but then decided to open its fields to the public for picking and sharing the fruits of its labor. Strawberries are typically available the second week of June through second week of July.

Insider Tip: The owners update their Facebook page daily with field conditions and reports of how the crops are doing.

Thompson-Finch Farm
750 Wiltsie Bridge Rd.
Ancram, Ny
Open daily; hours confirmed the second week of June
518-329-7578
Online: thompsonfinch.com

Kelder’s Farm
You may forget to pick strawberries at Kelder’s Farm because there are so many other fun activities available. For all you kitsch art fans out there, the farm boasts one of the world’s tallest garden gnomes. Kids will go crazy for the “jumping pillow,” which is like a gigantic outdoor trampoline, and love putting on the miniature-golf course. Strawberries? Oh, yeah, they’re de-lish.

Insider Tip: Kelder’s will host your child’s birthday party, too!

Kelder’s Farm
5755 Rt. 209
Kerhonkson, Ny
Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
845-626-7137
Online: kelderfarm.com

photo: via bigbirdz on Flickr

Connecticut

Jones Family Farms
Terry Jones, owner of Jones Family Farms, describes strawberries as the “perfect fruit.” One of the oldest, continuously operating harvest-your-own strawberry farms in Connecticut, this is the farm’s 51st anniversary of selling strawberries. Be sure to stop by the farm’s winery tasting room, which has received tons of accolades, and pick up a bottle of its Strawberry Serenade Sparkling Wine.

Take note: Strawberry fields are located at two separate areas: Pumpkinseed Hill Farm Area at 120 Beardsley Rd. and Valley Farm Area at 555 Walnut Tree Hill Rd.

Insider Tip: Call 203-929-8425 for updates on hours and picking locations as they can change daily depending on weather or crop.

Jones Family Farms
606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd.
Shelton, Ct.
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-noon
203-929-8425
Online: jonesfamilyfarms.com

Rose’s Berry Farm
In 1908, Rose’s Berry Farm started growing blueberries on one of the largest blueberry farms in Connecticut. Over the years, raspberries, blackberries, apples – and thankfully – strawberries have been added to their growing fields. As a fixture at farmers markets and a vendor to wholesalers for years, Rose’s certainly knows berries. U-pick begins on June 14th.

Insider Tip: If you go on a Sunday, feast on a hearty meal at Rose’s Breakfast-with-a-View. which is served from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rose’s Berry Farm
295 Matson Hill Rd.
South Glastonbury, Ct.
860-633-7467
Daily, 9 a.m.-5p.m.
Online: rosesberryfarm.com

Where do you go to pick your own strawberries? Tell us in the comments!

—Ilyssa Smith