Connecting field to fork at our local strawberry u-pick

As frequent Simple Bites readers will know, we teach our kids about where their food comes from, and try to harvest nature’s bounty through u-picks as often as we can.  Aimee and I were married in an apple orchard, and so apple picking has been an annual tradition.

Strawberry season, however, is much, much shorter, and so this past Monday was the first time our family of five has gone strawberry picking since Clara has joined us.  Four of us absolutely love these seasonal, sweet berries, and the other one tolerated the outing by having races up and down the pathway (he’s not a berry believer).

Strawberry u-pick on

It was a deliciously cool and overcast summer morning and we hopped on the trailer for the requisite tractor ride out to the field.  Despite our boys’ need to run, run, run, we were told in no uncertain terms by several of the staff that the field was simply too far to ever imagine walking for adults, let alone children.  Oh well.  It was a nice tractor ride.

Although imported strawberries have been in stores for over a month, the unseasonally cool summer means the local berries are only just starting to ripen, and we were ready for them.

Strawberry u-pick on

Clara can nearly always out-eat the boys, and this outing was no exception.  She picked and ate well over half a pint, and only careful supervision kept her from ingesting too much straw or the overly green ones. She was in her element!

Strawberry u-pick on www.simplebites.netStrawberry u-pick on www.simplebites.netStrawberry u-pick on

Plan ahead for your U-pick excursion:

  • Berries stain, bushes have thorns, and fields can be muddy. Dress appropriately, and remember a hat.
  • Decide how you’ll use the berries before picking. It’s easy to over-pick, so be prepared to have freezer space when you get tired of eating berries.
  • Call the farm before you visit – picking conditions can vary from day to day, and the farmer will let you know the best time to arrive and the conditions.
  • Bring the camera and pack a picnic!

Clara strawberry picking


We enjoyed the family friendly Ferme Marineau, with its picnic area and scenic tractor and wagon ride. Yes, it is stroller-friendly, too.

Kids Collage

To find a local U-pick farm, either ask around at your local market, or try the Pick Your Own website. It’s a good resource, not only for finding farms, but offers recipes and tips for what to do with your haul.

Strawberry u-pick on

Have you gone to a u-pick yet this year?

About Danny

Danny Bourque is a mechanical engineer who is known at both home and work as either “the geek” or “the numbers guy”. He is very methodical and genuinely loves to analyze almost anything that piques his interest – including food.

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  1. Those berries! Oh an they look so good! What an awesome post!

  2. Such a beautiful post. Your kids are adorable.
    Berry picking is the best. We enjoy it every summer in SF.

  3. Too cute! Such a wonderful way to spend quality family time and pass on those great traditions.

  4. We were going to go strawberry picking for the first time this past weekend, but a heat wave kept us at home. 100+ degree temperatures meant farmers closed their farms early for safety reasons and the only place we wanted to be was the pool. This weekend is supposed to be better so I think we’ll try again. I think my 3 year old will enjoy strawberry picking since the berries are on his level, unlike the apple picking we did this past fall. Growing up we went blueberry picking every year. Such wonderful memories!

  5. Loved seeing your little ones picking berries (then dumping them in their lap!) SO happy it’s strawberry season! 🙂

  6. I haven’t seen any strawberries here yet. Yours look wonderful!

    My daughters and I were delighted to find ripe Saskatoon berries at a nearby campground last weekend. I think I like the thrill of foraging over u-pick, but I’ll take whatever is available. There’s a local Saskatooon berry festival coming up this weekend, to which I’ll be taking my kids. We never tire of berries!

    • Hi Julie,

      Coincidentally, I foraged for Saskatoon berries last weekend also. I was able to get a few pints in the freezer – reserved for pancakes, just like we ate when I was little. I love the foraging thrill too. 🙂

  7. Danny,
    Seeing the kids having so much fun (but perhaps not gathering as many ripe berries as you may desire) reminds me of when my kids were little. You know what? At some point the kids will switch over from randomly grabbing all the berries they feel like, and selectively pick just the ripe ones with great stamina. That’s a pretty cool thing. My taller-than-me teen and I picked black raspberries yesterday and the freezer and our bellies are full and happy.
    Oh, one more thing–trips to the Upick should always end with margaritas or daiquiris for the grown ups, using some of the freshly picked berries! I learned that last month from AnnieRie, and enjoyed a black raspberry margarita last night.

  8. The strawberries are finally ready in Nova Scotia as well and my girls and I spent a couple hours filling our baskets. It was fun and felt so good to support a local farm as well as teaching the girls about where our food comes from. They were thrilled to eat some of the strawberries for dinner and they had great pride in telling their Daddy all about their outing.

  9. What a fun family outing! And look at how Clara has grown. Time flies 🙂

  10. Oh, how darling these little ones are 🙂 so much fun!

  11. I was SO SAD that our unseasonable WARM spring meant an early ripening, and we completely missed u-pick strawberry season in Oregon this year. Everything was ripe and picked over by mid-June. =(

    But, today, we made a post-church outing to the blueberry farm. 14 pounds sitting on my counter. Yum! Blueberries are great for kid picking – no pricklies, even the green ones taste okay, and you can duck kids under the bushes for shade. Ahhh…

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