Making the Most of Your Farm Strawberry-Picking Experience
Updated: May 30
Strawberries that in gardens grow are plump and juicy fine.
But sweeter far as wise men know, spring from the woodland vine.
No need for bowl or silver spoon, sugar or spice or cream,
has the wild berry plucked in June beside the trickling stream.
One such to melt at the tongue’s root,
confounding taste with scent,
beats a full peck of garden fruit:
Which points to my argument. – Robert Graves
It’s a fair argument, Mr. Graves, but at Strawberry Run, we would argue that a lovingly-tended and farm-grown strawberry picked fresh from the vine can have the same thrill of the find, the same intermingling of taste and scent as a wild strawberry. And since most of us today aren’t prone to forage for food and would truly rather have a basket of berries to take home than just one that we stumble upon in the woods, we strawberry farmers strive to cultivate a full field of delectable strawberry vines just waiting for you to come along with your family and pluck them from the vines!
Your only job is to spot them, pluck them, (probably eat a few), and fill your baskets to take home your own personal peck of the best of summer strawberries. All the while, you will be enjoying an authentic, fun, picturesque experience with your loved ones.
Here’s our guide to making the most of your summer strawberry-picking experience.
When should we come for the optimal strawberry picking experience?
In our part of Ohio, the peak picking month is typically June, with some of the crop ripening as early as late May, and some straggler plants waiting until early July to offer their best berries.
This year, it’s looking like our peak week will be the last week of May!
Does time of day matter?
Yes, but the window is wide! We recommend picking between 10 AM and 6 PM, and be prepared to be in full sun.
Why not early in the morning? Picking them while they are still covered with dew will shorten their shelf life. If you plan to eat them or use them for jam or another recipe, picking them in the early morning before the heat of the day builds is fine. (Looking for a recipe? See our recipe tab!)
How about during the heat of the afternoon? You’re welcome to visit us during these hours, but come prepared if it’s a hot day! Slap on the sunscreen, throw on some hats, and be sure to hydrate! Heat also affects the shelf-life of strawberries, so if it’s hot and you have your berries in a basket and they sit in the sun for an hour, just know that this heat exposure will shorten shelf life as well.
How do we know if a berry is ready for picking?
If only berries could talk! Of course all strawberries have a cycle of bud to bloom to green berry to ripening fruit to fully-ripe mature berry. Red, slightly firm berries are our recommendation if you’ll be eating them fresh. A slightly green tip is okay too, but may not be as sweet. If you’re making jam or if you like soft, juicy berries then you want the darker deep red berries.
What do we do once our baskets are filled?
Bring them to our weighing station where we’ll weigh them and package them for your trip home.
What else might we do while on or near the farm?
Our farm offers families the relief of wide-open green space, the rewarding activity of fruit picking, and a place to create traditions outdoors. Bring a blanket and have a picnic lunch in the field if you’d like.
Morrow, which is just down the road, is a nice little town to visit. If you’re looking for a whole day experience in nature, canoeing on the nearby Little Miami river is a good option.
If you do make a day of it, bring a cooler to keep your berries cool unless you plan to eat them all before you get home!
Can we be spontaneous, or do we need to plan ahead?
It makes no difference to us! Either way, on the day you want to come, just hop in the car, get here, open the sliding door of that minivan and watch your kids flourish in the fresh air.
Strawberry Run offers more than fruit picking: we provide an opportunity for connection, education, and meaningful family traditions.