Where to Pick Your Own Berries
I remember fondly being turned loose as a kid, bucket swinging by my side, into orderly rows of strawberry plants on a farm near Durham. My siblings and I would race up and down, hunting for a bright red berry peeking out from the low-lying green leaves.
Finding one as big as my little fist, I'd yell to everyone within earshot, "Come look!" It was a big deal. A huge score. By the end of the pick-your-own outing, we'd have scarlet-stained fingers and more strawberries than we could carry.
If you've never been strawberry picking, this month is the perfect time to try it. Many farms are either already open for picking, or will open in the next few weeks. And plenty are within an hour of DC where you can pick to your strawberry-loving heart's content.
Here's a handy list to guide you to the fields. Always remember to call first to make sure the farm will be open and that the pickings are good. Sometimes near the end of the season the fields are picked clean.
Farms in Maryland
• Butler’s Orchard
22200 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, Md.
Just north of DC in Montgomery County, Butler’s Orchard has a great selection of pick-your-own produce including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and more. Score a freshly baked berry pie in the bakery.
• Homestead Farm
15604 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville, Md.
Also in Montgomery County, Homestead Farm offers pick-your-own strawberries, blackberries and other fruit. They also have a market open daily to sell assorted, seasonal vegetables.
2415 Woodbine Rd., Woodbine, Md.
West of Columbia, Md., Larriland will kick of the pick-you-own season around mid-May, with peaches, blackberries, raspberries and vegetables coming later in the summer.
• Mayne’s Tree Farm
3420 Buckeystown Pike, Buckeystown, Md.
Mayne’s is known for its Christmas trees, but also offers pick-your-own strawberries. A little further north of DC, Mayne’s takes you just past Sugarloaf Mountain where you can spend the rest of your day hiking.
• Truck Patch Farms
3201 Sams Creek Road, New Windsor, Md.
A farmers market favorite of Metrocurean, Truck Patch had early berries come in. Email the farm at email@example.com to schedule a time to come pick some strawberries
Farms in Virginia
• Hartland Orchard/Green Truck Farm
3015 Hartland Lane, Markham, Va.
Hartland Orchard is a family run pick-your-own farm just about an hour west of DC. They offer pick-your-own strawberries from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call to confirm hours.
• Hollin Farms
1410 Snowden Rd., Delaplane, Va.
Hollin’s offers a large variety of pick-your-own fruit and vegetables, beginning with strawberries and including raspberries and blackberries. The farm also specializes in cattle and offers pastured, free-range natural angus beef and natural pastured pork.
• Wegmeyer Farms
38299 Hughesville Rd., Hamilton, Va.
Wegmeyer Farms offers pick-your-own strawberries and blackberries in the spring and early summer and raspberries in the fall. For the pick-your-own enthusiast, Wegmeyer’s even offers PYO Club memberships, which include priority picking, a small discount on pickings and other benefits.
* Simple Strawberry Jam
* Strawberry Ginger Soda
Laura Olson contributed to this post.