It’s strawberry season again! Here are some great tips to help you and your family enjoy this delicious fruit. Get ready to make lasting family memories while strawberry picking! And be sure to take plenty of berries home to make some delicious strawberry treats!
When Should I Pick My Strawberries?
For those in Virginia, May is prime strawberry season. Head over to some of the many fields in Pungo or Chesapeake, get a bucket, and fill it up! You can usually find the best berries in the middle of the field- so resist the urge to hang out at the end of the row!
Also, if you’ve ever wondered how to properly pick strawberries off the plant, it’s not as tricky as you’d think! That’s what makes it a great family activity! Just find the red berries, gently pull them, and place them in your bucket.
Another expert tip: don’t pick the berries unless they’re fully red and ripe. So if you’re heading out with little ones who eat any berry they see or think that green strawberries will eventually ripen (spoiler alert: they won’t), most of these farms offer pre-picked berries, too! That way, you can get the professionally-picked berries to supplement your own haul. This strategy also works well at apple and peach orchards during those seasons!
Should I Bring My Kids Strawberry Picking?
Absolutely! Strawberry picking with children offers continuous entertainment for a morning or afternoon, especially if you pack a picnic. Activities often vary from week to week, but lots of locations have play areas intended just for the kiddos! Some even have petting zoos. However, I would highly recommend visiting a petting zoo after handing the strawberries just for cleanliness’ sake.
If you’re hoping for an adorable strawberry season photoshoot, keep in mind that the rows you walk in are often muddy because of the rainy spring weather. Expect mud and strawberry juice in just about every picture you take. Keep the same thing in mind before you put your kid in that adorable new dress or shiny new shoes. But sometimes, a messy picture captures the authenticity of a memory. Life’s too short to always keep clothes clean, right?
Where Should I Go for Strawberry Picking?
There are many farms in Virginia where you can enjoy those freshly-picked berries. Here are a few of our favorites where you can pick-your-own-strawberries. As great as these farms are, we highly advise calling them before you go or checking ahead on social media to be sure the fields are open with plenty of berries.
Also, each farm has different guidelines about where to pick, so follow them! They’re not trying to keep you from the best berries if they only tell you to pick in a certain place. They want to make sure each guest has a fun and fruitful experience (pun intended), so go where they lead!
- Brookdale Farm: With locations in both Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Brookdale Farm offers many acres where you can pick strawberries and enjoy the farm, including friendly animals and places to picnic. Check out their social media for up-to-date info!
- Cullipher Farms: You can pre-order online from the Cullipher Farm market in addition to shopping at their regular farm stand! Look for goodies like fresh greens and veggies, baked goods, and even ice cream.
- Henley Farms: This family-run farm has offered delicious strawberries for four generations! And if you’re in the mood for something beyond strawberries, you can also pick-your-own kale or lettuce.
- Historic Greenbrier Farms: These lovely farms have been in business since 1916 and still offer u-pick strawberries for kids of all ages! Did you know there are different kinds of strawberries? Neither did we! They offer Chandler, Sweet Charlie, and Ruby June Strawberries!
- Hickory Ridge Farm: In addition to strawberry picking, Hickory Ridge Farm offers plenty of fresh, seasonal vegetables, plants, and other yummy products like donuts, jams, and peanuts! They’re open during public schools’ Spring Break, too! Check out their Easter celebration on April 16th with their first Saturday market. Their Facebook page also has daily updates on picking conditions and special events.
- Mount Pleasant Farms: Established in 1992 as a family-owned farm in Chesapeake, Virginia, Mount Pleasant offers strawberry picking in the fields! Check out their Facebook page for hours, instructions, and info! We can’t wait to stop by for some pre-picked strawberries, fresh eggs, strawberry cheesecake, and wildflower honey!
- Flanagan Farm: Flanagan Farm is the home of Roy and Jeannie Flanagan and their 5 children on Pungo Ridge. With two acres of you-pick strawberries, they grow the freshest, best-tasting fruit you can find. Grab your family and spend quality time together harvesting strawberries!
- Salem Berry Farms: Located near the Amphitheater at Farm Bureau Live, these fresh strawberries are just waiting to be plucked! Picking season starts May 1st, so if you’re looking for an activity to kick off the season, bring your buckets and stop by!
What Are Some of the Best Recipes With Freshly-Picked Strawberries?
It’s so hard to pick the best way to prepare our favorite berries! From jams to shortcake, here are a few favorites to kick off strawberry season!
Strawberry Bread: Banana bread is always a solution when you can’t eat the bananas fast enough, so why not strawberry bread? Keep in mind, only use fresh, ripe, firm berries to get the best-possible bread. Check out this recipe that we love!
Strawberry Jam: Jams are a perfect way to extend the shelf-life of those extra strawberries if they last that long! Try this easy three-ingredient recipe, and spread on fresh toast in the morning.
Strawberry Basil Ice Cream:
Strawberry Basil Ice Cream
- 1 5 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 16-oz. container container fresh strawberries
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Strawberry Basil Ice Cream
- Whisk together first 6 ingredients
- Cover and chill 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, put strawberries, basil, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times– until finely chopped. Combine strawberry mixture into the chilled milk mixture.
- Pour milk mixture into freezer container of a 1-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the ice cream maker’s instructions (this may vary).
- Remove ice cream container from ice-cream maker, and freeze 30 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to an airtight container or pan covered tightly with tin foil; freeze 3 to 4 hours or until firm.
Paleo and Vegan Strawberry Crumble: So you want the joy of eating a strawberry pastry but have dietary restrictions? No problem! This recipe offers a delicious strawberry dessert that allows you a guilt-free indulgence.
Strawberry Pie: A variation of this recipe has been one of our family favorites for years! Throw in some blueberries, and you’ve got the perfect 4th of July pie! Okay, we’d definitely eat it year-round.
Healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars: The kids need all the nutrients they can get as the school year is in it’s final weeks! There’s so much to do! These healthy strawberry oatmeal bars will keep everyone feeling satisfied and full, whether they’re for breakfast or you pack them in lunches!
Fresh Strawberry Mousse: Light, fluffy, and sweet; there’s nothing quite like a delicate mousse as an afternoon snack or after-dinner treat. And this recipe only has three ingredients: strawberries, sugar, and whipping cream.
Strawberry Shortcake: This quintessential strawberry recipe is absolutely delicious: shortcake and homemade whipped cream topped with fresh strawberries; what could be better? Enjoy!
Strawberry Season: Enjoy the Fruit of May!
There are so many ways to enjoy strawberry season! Whether heading out to the fields with your family or baking some strawberry desserts, this amazing fruit brings joy to so many. What are your favorite strawberry-related activities? Share photos of your strawberry-picking adventures with the people you love on FamilyApp!