It’s strawberry season again! Here are some great tips to help you and your family enjoy this delicious fruit, and make some lasting family memories.
When should I pick my strawberries?
For those in Virginia, May is the prime time to pick strawberries. 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 do I properly pick strawberries off the plant? It’s not as difficult as you’d think, which is what makes it a great family activity! Just find the red berries, gently pull, and place in your buckets.
Another an expert tip: don’t pick the berries unless they’re red and ripe. So if you’re heading out with little ones who might eat more berries than they pick, or think that green strawberries will eventually ripen (spoiler alert: they won’t!), most of these farms offer their own produce market. So 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, too!
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. And many farms nationwide also offer other activities, like bounce houses, wagon rides, and petting zoos.
Whether you want to keep things low-key or make it a whole family event, you can find lots to do in the fields. Activities often vary from week to weekend so you might want to call the farms to plan ahead.
Where should I go for strawberry picking?
There are many, 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 so you can be sure the farms 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 the best experience, 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, which includes friendly animals and places to picnic.
- Cullipher Farm: In addition to offering many delicious varieties of strawberries, you definitely want to head over to the Cullipher Farm market where you can sample delicious baked goods and homemade ice cream!
- Henley Farms: This family-run farm has been offering 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! Your little guys can also enjoy their Barnyard Buddies area with many different farm animals.
- Hickory Ridge Farm: With strawberry picking and pony rides on the weekdays, and even more weekend activities including bounce houses and extra concessions, Hickory Ridge Farm offers fun for the whole family!
Celebrate at the Pungo Strawberry Festival
Every Memorial Day Weekend, over 80,000 people in the Virginia Beach area head over to the annual Pungo Strawberry Festival. Offering continuous entertainment, tons of fresh strawberries, activities for kids, and much, much more, the festival is a fantastic way to celebrate this delicious fruit.
With arts and crafts, a parade, a carnival, 4H events, and various performances, this event is good, clean fun for the whole family! And, yes, even though it’s the end of strawberry season, you can still pick berries.
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.
Strawberry Bread: Moist and delicious, you’ll love this recipe from Brookdale Farm!
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.
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! But we love to eat it year-round.
Strawberry Shortcake: This quintessential strawberry recipe is absolutely delicious. Shortcake and homemade whipped cream topped with fresh strawberries; what could be better? Enjoy!
The Fruit of May
There so many ways to enjoy strawberries! Whether you’re living it up at a festival, 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? Let us know in the comments, or on your favorite family app.