Nothing says summertime like fresh berries. If you’re fortunate to live near a strawberry farm, you can even get in some more action and go strawberry picking. Picking times and seasons will vary based on where you live. But one thing is for sure, strawberry picking is a whole lot of fun. Here is what you’ll need to know before you go strawberry picking.
Check the Weather Forecast
It goes without saying (or maybe not), but strawberry picking is an outdoor affair. So check the forecast before you go. Especially during the springtime, thunderstorms are known to pop up. Lightening and thunderstorms just don’t mix well with strawberry picking.
Peak Strawberry season varies from year to year. Sometimes the berries come in early and other times the berries peak later. Go on the website of the strawberry farm you’d like to visit and check the picking schedule. In addition, you can usually call the farm and listen to a recording about picking conditions each day.
Take a Potty Break
Especially if you’ll be going strawberry picking with kids, make sure to use the bathroom before you get on the strawberry field. Otherwise, potty use will be limited to nearby porta potties.
Bring your Camera
These days, the built in cameras on smartphones are so good so you may not need to bring your DSLR camera. But just in case, Cannons take fabulous pictures. There’s something about those bright juicy strawberries and big open big fields that make the best photo opps. Take some pictures of the kids picking their strawberries and make a special photo book.
Dressing appropriately for strawberry and berry picking goes beyond wearing a hat for abundant sunshine. Closed toed shoes are a must to avoid dirty toes from muddy grounds and sticky feet from mushed strawberries. Also, strawberries stain, so this is not the time to put the newest outfits on the kids or wear your Sunday Best. Make sure to put on sunscreen too and bring a sunhat as well.
Bring your Own Container
The good news is that if you forget to bring containers to the strawberry farm, there are already lots there. But, if you want to keep a couple extra bucks in your pocket then bring your own. Also important to note, I’ve found that flat boxes work better for collecting those juicy berries because strawberries at the bottom of the buckets tend to get soft and squishy due to the pressure.
Plan Before You Go
If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Set up a plan for how many strawberries you plan to pick before you go strawberry picking. How many buckets or containers do you need? Do you have any recipes that you’d like to make? Strawberries have a short lifespan even when refrigerated. Start plotting your recipes before you go so that you’ll know how many to pick. Plan for some strawberries to be enjoyed fresh and others to be used in recipes to make the most of your strawberry picking. Here are some strawberry recipes to try when you go.
Give it a 360 view
Before you pick any strawberries off the bunch, make sure to give it a 360 degree view. Strawberries are a magnet for pests, mold and rut. Neglecting to look at all sides of the strawberry before you pick them may mean that you’re paying for rotting strawberries. So make sure to check.
Berry picking is a fun family activity and one of my top favorite of the 100 Summer Activities to Do with Kids this Summer because it’s an activity that the entire family can enjoy. In addition, after the strawberry picking is over, the fun continues in the kitchen with delicious strawberry recipes.
So have fun with your kids and enjoy this special time. The kids won’t be little forever.