Nothing is quite like sun-ripened strawberries still warm from the fields. Make a plan to pick your own this year!
Mid- to late May is prime picking season for strawberries in our area. Pack a lunch and drive out to one of these berry fields for some family fun on the farm.
ADDRESS: 12850 Shlagel Road | Waldorf, MD
This family farm was founded in 1911 and prides itself on being a great place for kids. They often have rain day specials and also sell reduced-priced flats of berries for making jam. It doesn't get much better than that! They also have bedding plants and colorful hanging baskets for sale, as well as hay and straw for all of your garden needs.
They plan on opening 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as long as the berries last. Face coverings are required in public areas in the checkout line or store. For more information, visit their Facebook page or the Shlagel Farms website.
Courtesy of Shlagel Farms
ADDRESS: 22222 Davis Mill Road | Germantown, MD
It's all about fun at Butler's Orchard. Even before the berries are ready, kids can go and run around the farm park! They have a gorgeous farm market with all sorts of regionally sourced, organic items like lettuce, Hothouse tomatoes, and mushrooms.
There's a $3 admission fee for accessing the picking fields, but it also includes the picnic area, giant slides, nature trail, and petting zoo.
Courtesy of Butler's Orchard
Tips on Picking Strawberries
- Only go for all-red berries – they do not continue to ripen once picked.
- Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and choose carefully because strawberries only last a few days at room temperature.
- Leave early to head to the farm. U-pick folks are early risers, and some fields may be closed by lunchtime.
- Pick each berry about 1/2" up, by pinching the stem carefully. Teach the smaller kids to be careful of the plants.
- Only wash the berries right before you use them. Rinsing them can promote early rot.
- 2021 is not going to be a great year for strawberries. A late freeze wiped out plants all over the region and many Maryland farms aren't opening for u-pick this season. Be sure to do your research before heading out.
- Freeze washed, hulled whole berries for months of summer flavor. Enjoy the fruits of your labor well into the fall!
For more tips on how to handle and use freshly picked strawberries, visit this u-pick information site.
Pickyourown.org is a great resource for finding farms in your state. Check them out and see if there are other strawberry fields near you!
Are you heading out to pick strawberries this year? Drop us a line in the comments and tell us your favorite Maryland farm or orchard.