Tag Archives: Pick Your Own Strawberries

PYOP: Pick Your Own Produce at These Local Farms

strawberries_sash

The pick-your-own produce season starts with strawberries in the spring, then continues with more delicious fruits and veggies in the summer and fall. Heading out to the farm to do some picking is among my favorite seasonal activities with the kids. It’s a nice break from the urban bustle and a great chance to show them that food doesn’t magically appear on a plate or shelf at Trader Joe’s. Even better, the enjoyment continues with a basketful of fresh produce at home. The time is ripe for planning your own PYOP outing. Here are some great places around the area to reap some of the best treats of spring, summer, and fall. Happy Picking!

Shlagel Farms
Less than 20 miles from DC in Waldorf, MD, Shlagel Farms is one of the more popular pick-your-own strawberry places in the area, their season always beginning before other area farms, and because that’s the only PYO they offer. The fields are expected to open around May 1 and should yield berries until early June. While there, you can also purchase bedded plants grown in their greenhouse, romp on the playground, and treat the kids (and yourself) to ice cream. You can also pick up something up to cook for dinner — Shlagel also offers farm raised beef, pork, and chicken! Shlagel’s is open for PYO from 8am – 6pm seven days a week. Follow them on Facebook to stay updated on their pickings.

Westmoreland Berry Farm
The farm in Virginia’s historic Northern Neck kicks off their PYO season in their strawberry fields in May, welcoming visitors daily. Come June, the rest of the berries (black, blue, rasp, and cherries) will become ready for picking, and peaches, nectarines, and plums won’t be far behind (see their approximate schedule here). Along with PYO, there are goats to visit and play areas for kids. Picking hours are Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm. (Update: Now open!)

Great Country Farms
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Great Country offers much more than just pick-your-own opportunities. The farm is well known for its big seasonal festivals and fun farm-themed attractions. A hayride takes you out to the picking fields, and kids might spy an emu or goat on the way. Visitors also have access to the barnyard, mazes, a cow train, and jumping pillow. Their u-pick strawberry fields will open in mid-late May, and you can get updates on them via Facebook and Twitter. Asparagus is available at the same time, and more berries, plums, tomatoes, okra, green beans, and hot peppers will follow in late spring and summer. The weekends of May 25-27 and June 1-2 are the annual Strawberry Jubilee with live music, pie eating contests, tart tosses, tasty food, and more. Babies 9-12 months can compete in the diaper derby, a crawl to the finish line, to compete for great prizes. Admission to Great Country is $8/child $10/adult on weekdays, and $10/child $12/adult on festival weekends. Open daily 9am- 6pm. (Update: PYO strawberries has begun!)

Wegmeyer Farms
With three locations in Northern Virginia, Wegmeyer offers varying strawberry picking experiences as the settings differ at each. PYO at a historic homestead in Hamilton, then set up lunch at a picnic table (BYO) and let the kids play on a John Deere tractor slide and playground. At Oatlands, the patch and era-themed attire at the historic mansion will whisk you back to the 1800’s, and while visiting the patch is free, you can purchase tour passes for the garden and/or mansion. And at Gilbert’s Corner, enjoy strawberry picking in its most natural state; the no-fuss location is perfect for a simple outing. The PYO season will begin at all three locations in May. Check the website for updates, hours, and directions. (Update: Gilbert Corner & Oatlands fields now open!)

Mackintosh Fruit Farm
The family-owned farm in the Shenandoah Valley will open to the public in late May (check the website or call for an update) with access to their strawberry fields, then blueberries, peaches, brambles, apples, and paw paw. Plan on lunch while you’re there — along with fruits and veggies, the farm also offers a variety of menu items prepared fresh every day from their own produce. Walk it all off afterward along a trail that winds through the fields and woods of the farm and let the kids play it off on the playground. This year’s hours have yet to be confirmed, but last year they were open Wednesday through Sunday from 8am – 6pm, plus Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

Larriland Farm
About an hour’s drive from DC in Howard County, Larriland Farms always gets great reviews for both it’s produce and beauty. The pick-your-own season is expected to start with strawberries in late May/early June this year, and they’ll have the full spectrum of berries following soon after, just about every variety of peaches, and loads of veggies available from June – October, too. (See the list and view schedules on the website.) Larriland employs Integrated Pest Management, meaning pesticides are a last resort, to keep pests below an acceptable level with minimum harmful impact on the environment. Summer hours are Tuesdays 9am – 8pm, Wednesday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm.

Butler’s Orchard
The farm might be best known for it’s Halloween and Easter extravaganzas, but they have a bounty of great crops, too. Strawberry fields will be open to visitors everyday, expecting to start in late May. Following soon after are more berries and sugar snap and English peas. Potatoes, apples, and pumpkins come later. The Farm Park with the giant slides, a nature trail, and our farm animals can be enjoyed along with the PYO ops. And Bunnyland is still open April 27-28! Hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 9:30am – 6pm. Admission is $3. Stay updated on their status by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Hollin Farms
Across the river in Fauquier County, VA, Hollin Farms strawberry picking season will begin in late May and will last several weeks. Hours are 9am – 4pm Wednesday through Sunday, and they recommend calling ahead to confirm that picking fields are open. But, wait, the PYO doesn’t stop with strawberries! Other spring crops that you’re welcome to gather include lettuce, peas, arugula, bok choy, radishes, Swiss chard. Come summer, peaches, plums, blackberries, red raspberries, sour cherries, and summer veggies are available. Fall brings apples, home-grown Pumpkin Patch, fall vegetables, potatoes, and dig-your-own peanuts. And a special P.S. to meat lovers: they pride themselves on their grass-fed beef.

Green Truck Farm/Hartland Farm
Green Truck and Hartland Farms are located out I-66 less than an hour from DC (Green Truck is situated at the entrance to Hartland). Their strawberries will be ready for picking in May. The rest of their PYO offerings run the berry gamut along with tomatoes, winter squash, and pumpkins. And at Hartland, you can get berries, then peaches, apples, and pumpkins later in the year.

Homestead Farm
Homestead no longer grows strawberries, so their PYO season will begin a little later than other area farms. The first crop will be tart cherries in June, and other berries will be ripe and ready soon after. Peaches, apples, and pumpkins come later. Along with PYO, there are animals to visit (goats, pigs, and chickens), and watching the goats clamber along the goat-walk is always a trip for kids. Homestead also scores high on scenery — the lovely pastoral setting in Montgomery County makes you feel like you’re way more than 20 miles from the city. When open, the farm operates seven days a week, and PYO hours are 9am – 5pm. You can sign up to receive weekly updates by email to stay up to date on their crops.

Waters Orchard
This Gaitherburg, MD, locale is a great place for apple picking come late summer and fall. The varieties are plentiful, and the scenery is lovely. After parking, it’s a 5-10 minute walk to the orchard. Last time we visited, there was a little tent set up where staff offered apple tastings and info about the apples and orchard. Hours are Fridays 12-5pm, and Saturdays & Sundays, 9am – 5pm. Pick-your-own pricing is by the peck — $15/half peck, $22/peck, $38/bushel and that includes entry fee for two. It’s $5/guest after that.

Do you have a favorite PYO farm that you don’t see here? Feel free to share in the comments, if so!

3 Comments

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Fall, Farm, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

PYOP: Pick Your Own Produce at These Local Farms

Let me take you down, cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields

Let me take you down, cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields



The PYOP (pick your own produce) season has begun! It starts with strawberries in the spring, then continues with more delicious fruits and veggies in the summer and fall. Heading out to the farm to do some picking is among my favorite seasonal activities with the kids. It’s a nice break from the urban bustle and a great chance to show them that food doesn’t magically appear on a shelf at Trader Joe’s or on a restaurant plate. Even better, the enjoyment continues with a basketful of fresh produce at home. The time is ripe for planning your own PYOP outing. Here are some of the area’s most popular places to reap some of the best treats of spring, summer, and fall. Happy Picking!

Schlagel Farms
Less than 20 miles from DC in Waldorf, Md, Schlagel Farms is one of the more popular pick-your-own strawberry places in the area with their season often beginning before other area farms — and because that’s the only PYO they offer. As of today, May 12, they are open and should be yielding berries until early June. While there, you can also purchase bedded plants grown in their greenhouse, romp on the playground, and treat the kids – and yourself! – to ice cream. Schlagel’s is open for picking from 8am – 7pm seven days a week. Follow them on Facebook to stay updated on their pickings.

Westmoreland Berry Farm
The farm in Virginia’s historic Northern Neck also opened their strawberry fields today and welcome visitors to PYO everyday through Sunday, May 17. Come June, the rest of the berries (black, blue, rasp, and cherries) will become ready for picking, and peaches, nectarines, and plums won’t be far behind (see their approximate schedule here). Along with PYO, a goat walk, cow train, hay ride, and play area are fun for kids. Picking hours are 10am – 4pm, and the farm is open 10am – 6pm.

Great Country Farms
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Great Country offers much more than just pick-your-own opportunities. The farm is well known for its big seasonal festivals and fun farm-themed attractions. A hayride takes you out to the picking fields, and kids might spy an emu or goat on the way. Visitors also have access to the barnyard, mazes, a cow train, and jumping pillow. Their u-pick strawberry fields are expected to open the third week of May, and you can get updates on them via Facebook and Twitter. Asparagus is available at the same time, and more berries, plums, tomatoes, okra, green beans, and hot peppers will follow in late spring and summer. The weekends of May 23-24 and May 30-31 are the annual Strawberry Jubilee with live music, pie eating contests, tart tosses, tasty food, and more. Babies 9-12 months can compete in the diaper derby, a crawl to the finish line, to compete for great prizes. Admission is $8/child $10/adult on weekdays, and $10/child $12/adult on festival weekends. Open daily 9am- 6pm.

Wegmeyer Farms
With three locations in Northern Virginia, Wegmeyer offers varying strawberry picking experiences as the settings differ at each. PYO at a historic homestead in Hamilton, then set up lunch at a picnic table (BYO) and let the kids play on a John Deere tractor slide and playground. At Oatlands, the patch and era-themed attire at the historic mansion will whisk you back to the 1800’s, and while visiting the patch is free, you can purchase tour passes for the garden and/or mansion. And at Gilbert’s Corner, enjoy strawberry picking in its most natural state; the no-fuss location is perfect for a simple outing. PYO should start in late May, and go well into June. Check the website for updates, hours, and direction. Bonus: Thursdays are Family Days at all three spots, and you can get a 25% discount simply by mentioning KFDC!

Mackintosh Fruit Farm
The family-owned farm in the Shenandoah Valley will open their farm to the public in late May (check the website or call for an update) with access to their strawberry fields, then blueberries, peaches, brambles, apples, and paw paw. Plan on lunch while you’re there — along with fruits and veggies, the farm also offers a variety of menu items prepared fresh every day from their own produce. Walk it all off afterward along a trail that winds through the fields and woods of the farm and let the kids play it off on the playground. This year they will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 8am – 6pm, plus Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

Homestead Farm
Strawberry season in the popular pick-your-own fields opens in very late May this year (exact date still TBD). More berries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins come later. Along with PYO, there are animals to visit — goats, pigs, and chickens are some of the farm’s residents. And Homestead also scores high on scenery — the lovely pastoral setting in Montgomery County makes you feel like you’re way more than 20 miles from the city. When open, the farm operates seven days a week, and PYO hours are 9am – 5pm. You can sign up to receive weekly updates by email to stay up to date on their crops.

Larriland Farm
About an hour’s drive from DC in Howard County, Larriland Farms always gets great reviews for both it’s produce and beauty. The pick-your-own season opens in late May – early June with strawberries, and they’ll have the full spectrum of berries following soon after, just about every variety of peaches, and loads of veggies available from June – October, too. (See the list and view schedules on the website.) Larriland employs Integrated Pest Management, meaning pesticides are a last resort, to keep pests below an acceptable level with minimum harmful impact on the environment. Summer hours are Tuesdays 9am – 8pm, Wednesday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm.

Butler’s Orchard
The farm might be best known for it’s Halloween and Easter extravaganzas, but they have a bounty of great crops, too. Strawberry fields will be open to visitors everyday, expecting to start in early June. Following soon after are more berries and sugar snap and English peas. Potatoes, apples, and pumpkins come later. Picnic there and let the kids play on the slides and playground. In past strawberry seasons their hours have been 8:30am – 6pm during the week, and 8:30am – 5pm on weekends. Stay updated on their status by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Hollin Farms
Across the river in Fauquier County, VA, Hollin Farms will kick off its strawberry picking season in late May, and it should last several weeks after that. Hours are 9am – 4pm Wednesday through Sunday, and they recommend calling ahead to confirm that picking fields are open. But, wait, the PYO doesn’t stop with strawberries! Other spring crops that you’re welcome to gather include lettuce, peas, arugula, bok choy, radishes, Swiss chard. Come summer, peaches, plums, blackberries, red raspberries, sour cherries, and summer veggies are available. Fall brings apples, home-grown Pumpkin Patch, fall vegetables, potatoes, and dig-your-own peanuts. And a special P.S. to meat lovers: they pride themselves on their grass-fed beef.

Do you have a favorite PYOP farm that you don’t see here? Feel free to share in the comments, if so!

 

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Eats, Fall, Farm, Festival, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Take Your Pick this Strawberry Season

berries
It’s probably no surprise that strawberry season is beginning later than usual at most area farms this year after the winter we experienced. However, with pick-your-own fields open at a couple of locales and more welcoming guests this weekend, the time is ripe for planning your own outing to gather the fruits. Here are some of the area’s most popular places to reap some of the best treats of spring and summer. And if you know of other great places to pick’em, please share in the comments below. Happy Picking!

Schlagel Farms
Less than 20 miles from DC in Waldorf, Md, Schlagel Farms is one of the more popular pick-your-own berry places in the area with their season often beginning before other area farms. Their fields have been open to the public since early May and they should be open until early June. While there, you can also purchase bedded plants grown in their greenhouse, romp on the playground, and treat the kids – and yourself! – to ice cream. Schlagel’s is open for picking from 8am – 7pm seven days a week.

Westmoreland Berry Farm
Their strawberries are now ripe for the picking, and they expect them to be available for another couple of weeks (then blackberries come in!). You can pick your own on Saturdays and Sundays, and a hay wagon will transport visitors to the picking fields. A goat walk is a also fun sight for kids. The farm is open 9am – 5pm Monday – Saturday, and 10am – 5pm Sunday. However, picking times may be limited to be sure to check the website or call before you go.

Great Country Farms
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Great Country offers more than just pick-your-own opportunities. The farm is well known for its big seasonal festivals and fun farm-themed attractions. A hayride takes you out to the picking fields, and kids might spy an emu or goat on the way. Visitors also have access to the barnyard, mazes, a cow train, and jumping pillow. Their u-pick strawberry fields will open in late May, and you can get updates on them via Facebook and Twitter. The weekends of May 24-25 and May 31 June 1 are the annual Strawberry Jubilee with live music, pie eating contests, tart tosses, tasty food, and more. Babies four to nine months can compete in the diaper derby, a crawl to the finish line, to compete for great prizes. Admission is $8/child $10/adult on weekdays, and $10/child $12/adult on festival weekends. Open daily 9am- 6pm.

Mackintosh Fruit Farm
The family-owned farm in the Shenandoah Valley will open their farm to the in late May, hopefully with access to their strawberry fields (be sure to check the website or call for an update). Plan on lunch while you’re there — along with fruits and veggies, the farm also offers a variety of menu items prepared fresh every day from their own produce. Walk it all off afterward along a trail that winds through the fields and woods of the farm. Open daily from 8am – 6pm.

Homestead Farm
Strawberry season in the popular pick-your-own fields opens in late May to early June this year. Along with berry picking, there are animals to visit — goats, pigs, and chickens are some of the farm’s residents. Along with the fun, Homestead also scores high on scenery — the lovely pastoral setting in Montgomery County makes you feel like you’re way more than 20 miles from the city. The farm is open seven days a week from 9:30am – 6pm, though pick-your-own ends at 5:30. You can sign up to receive weekly updates by email, so you can stay up to date on their crops.

Larriland Farm
About an hour’s drive from DC in Howard County, Larriland Farms always gets great reviews for both it’s produce and beauty. The pick-your-own season opened in early June with strawberries and spinach and is being reported as very good. Larriland employs Integrated Pest Management, meaning pesticides are a last resort, to keep pests below an acceptable level with minimum harmful impact on the environment. Hours are Tuesdays 9am – 8pm, Wednesday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm.

Butler’s Orchard
The farm might be best known for it’s Halloween and Easter extravaganzas, but they have a bounty of great crops, too. Strawberry fields will be open to visitors everyday starting in late May or early June. In strawberry season their hours are 8:30am – 6pm during the week, and 8:30am – 5pm on weekends. Stay updated on their status by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Hollin Farms
Across the river in Fauquier County, VA, Hollin Farms will kick off its strawberry picking season on June 4th, and it should last several weeks after that. Hours are 9am – 5pm Wednesday through Sunday, and they recommend calling ahead to confirm that picking fields are open. And a special P.S. to meat lovers: they pride themselves on their grass-fed beef.

 

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Farm, Festival, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

I’m Going to… Strawberry Fields

Forget farm to table...  farm to belly is the way to go

Forget farm to table… farm to belly is the way to go



The strawberry picking season is off to a slow start this year. Only a couple of the well-known farms have opened their fields so far, while most are usually welcoming the public to reap the harvest by now. The cooler weather delayed the blooms, so it’s taking longer for the berries to ripen. But all of the pick-your-own places will be open eventually, and the upside is that we’ll get to enjoy the fruits — and the fun of picking them — for many weeks to come. Here’s the scoop on the strawberry season at several local farms (most of it duplicated from last year, but with updated info). And I’m always interested to hear about new places, so if you have a favorite farm that isn’t listed, feel free to mention it in the comments. Happy Picking!

Schlagel Farms
Less than 20 miles from DC in Waldorf, Md, Schlagel Farms is one of the more popular pick-your-own berry places in the area with their season often beginning before other area farms. Their fields have been open to the public since early May, despite rumors that they had closed for the season, and they should be open until early June. While there, you can also purchase bedded plants grown in their greenhouse and treat the kids – and yourself! – to ice cream. Schlagel’s is open for picking from 8am – 7pm seven days a week.

Westmoreland Berry Farm
Their strawberries are now ripe for the picking, and they expect them to be available for another couple of weeks (then blackberries come in!). You can pick your own on Saturdays and Sundays, and a hay wagon will transport visitors to the picking fields. A goat walk is a also fun sight for kids. The farm is open 9am – 5pm Monday – Saturday, and 10am – 5pm Sunday.

Hartland Orchard
Just recommended by a KFDC reader, this farm located in the scenic hills near Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Mountains, will open its strawberry fields on May 18. They recommend calling ahead to check on availability of ripe berries, because they expect more customers than ready-to-pick fruit (which makes sense, since we’ve all been anxiously awaiting). Call 540.316.7715 for minute-to-minute info. Hours at the farm are 8am – 6pm.

Great Country Farms
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Great Country offers more than just pick-your-own opportunities. The farm is well known for its big seasonal festivals and fun farm-themed attractions. A hayride takes you out to the picking fields, and kids might spy an emu or goat on the way. Visitors also have access to the barnyard, mazes, a cow train, and jumping pillow. They are opening their u-pick strawberry fields this weekend on May 18, and you can get updates on them via Facebook and Twitter. The weekend of May 25-26 is the annual Strawberry Jubilee with live music, pie eating contests, tart tosses, tasty food, and more. Babies four to nine months can compete in the diaper derby, a crawl to the finish line, to compete for great prizes. Admission is $8/child $10/adult on weekdays, and $10/child $12/adult on festival weekends. Open daily 9am- 6pm.

Mackintosh Fruit Farm
The family-owned farm in the Shenandoah Valley will open their farm to the public on May 25, hopefully with access to their strawberry fields (be sure to check the website or call for an update). Plan on lunch while you’re there — along with fruits and veggies, the farm also offers a variety of menu items prepared fresh every day from their own produce. Walk it all off afterward along a trail that winds through the fields and woods of the farm. Open daily from 8am – 6pm.

Homestead Farm
Strawberry season in the popular pick-your-own fields opened in late May this year. Along with berry picking, there are animals to visit — goats, pigs, and chickens are some of the farm’s bestial residents. Along with the fun, Homestead also scores high on scenery — the lovely pastoral setting in Montgomery County makes you feel like you’re way more than 20 miles from the city. The farm is open seven days a week from 9:30am – 6pm, though pick-your-own ends at 5:30. You can sign up to receive weekly updates by email, so you can stay up to date on their crops.

Larriland Farm
About an hour’s drive from DC in Howard County, Larriland Farms always gets great reviews for both it’s produce and beauty. The pick-your-own season opened in early June with strawberries and spinach and is being reported as very good. Larriland employs Integrated Pest Management, meaning pesticides are a last resort, to keep pests below an acceptable level with minimum harmful impact on the environment. Hours are Tuesdays 9am – 8pm, Wednesday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm.

Butler’s Orchard
The farm might be best known for it’s Halloween and Easter extravaganzas, but they have a bounty of great crops, too. As of June 2, strawberry fields will be open to visitors everyday. During strawberry season their hours are 8:30am – 6pm during the week, and 8:30am – 5pm on weekends. Stay updated on their status by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Hollin Farms
Across the river in Fauquier County, VA, Hollin Farms will kicked off its strawberry picking season on May 29, and it should last several weeks after that. Hours are 9am – 5pm Wednesday through Sunday, and they recommend calling ahead to confirm that picking fields are open. And a special P.S. to meat lovers: they pride themselves on their grass-fed beef.

 

3 Comments

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Farm, Festival, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend