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Where to Pick Strawberries in Orlando

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Florida is known to be a leader in the citrus industry, but did you know that our state is also the second-largest producing region in the U.S. of strawberries? Berry cool, right?! There are approximately 8,000 acres of strawberries growing in Florida and — here’s the best part — you can even pick your own strawberries at farms right here in Central Florida.

Florida’s strawberry season typically spans November through April. Here’s what you need to know:

Where to Pick to Strawberries in Orlando

Here are 8 places to pick strawberries in the Orlando area.

berry picking in orlando

 

Bekemeyer Family Farm

1055 E. Story Rd., Winter Garden | (407) 917-8068 | facebook.com/BFFWG

Baby-wearing mamas may especially love picking strawberries at Bekemeyer Family Farm, as I can personally attest. That’s because strawberries grow on hydroponic towers, so moms with a kiddo strapped on don’t need to bend down to a low bush. Amazingly, Bekemeyer is a 5th generation family farm that also grows citrus and peaches. The cozy market features jams, juices and assorted produce, including some often hard to find items like the broccoli rabe my son selected.

Fancy Farms

5204 Drane Field Rd., Lakeland | (813) 478-3486 | fancyfarmsmarket.com

Sprouting goodness since 1974, this family-run farm oversees 125 beautiful acres. Each year, Fancy Farms facilitates commercial operations for much of strawberry season and, then in March, opens up to the public for a condensed u-pick strawberry season. Can’t wait? Well, you may visit prior to u-pick time to purchase pre-picked berries and strawberry desserts, like strawberry cobbler, strawberry cookies, strawberry bread and other treats. Their onsite market also offers an array of local produce and fresh flowers. Fancy Farms will announce its u-pick dates via their Facebook page in the coming weeks.

JG Ranch

17200 Wiscon Rd., Brooksville | (352) 799-0556 | jgranch.com

With roots dating back to 2001, JG Ranch describes itself as a “one-stop-shop for all your farm-to-table goods.” That includes not only tons of plump strawberries, but also u-pick blackberries and blueberries, plus assorted produce, grass-fed beef, eggs and honey available for purchase. And your little chickadees will love feeding the farm’s chickens and cows too!

Keel Farms

5202 Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City | (813) 752-9100 | keelfarms.com

This farm is the producer of the popular fruit-infused wine label Keel & Curley. But fine-tuning grapes isn’t all they do. Keel Farms offers u-pick of organically grown strawberries, at $8 per pound, with blueberry u-pick to follow. Plus, Keel Farms has a lot more going on. There’s a winery, brewery, restaurant and events galore. And Keel Farms is dog-friendly, so you can bring the family pooch along too.

Related Post: Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries Near Orlando

Mick Farms

4261 Canoe Creek Rd., Saint Cloud | (407) 791-6873 | mickfarmsmarket.com

Mick’s describes itself as “a first generation, small family farm raising their kids and crops in the Sunshine State.” Huh… maybe they can offer some tips on how to get my pickier eaters to consume more veggies! Head to Mick’s to u-pick strawberries, but definitely plan to explore the well-stocked farm stand as well. This includes seasonal food options, but some cute gifts.

Oak Haven Farms & Winery

32430 Avington Rd., Sorrento | (352) 735-1996 | berriesandwines.com

Oak Haven is just in Lake County but this lovely laid-back farm feels worlds away. Pick strawberries to your heart’s content and then wander over to the farmhouse to refuel. You can forgo packing a lunch cooler because Oak Haven offers a unique u-roast hot dog experience. Plus, you won’t be able to pass up their home-style strawberry shortcakes and strawberry sundaes. And those 21 and older may sip on Oak Haven’s wines (strawberry, blueberry and Muscadine).

Pappy’s Patch

501 Florida Ave., Oviedo | (407) 366-8512 | facebook.com/pappysstrawberries

Fruit enthusiasts head to Pappy’s simple fields in Oviedo each year during strawberry season. Their juicy berries are typically priced between $3.00 and $3.50 per pound, but the picking experience is absolutely priceless. And FYI adventure seekers, Pappy’s just happens to be neighbors to Black Hammock Airboat (and we promise that the gators won’t try to snag your freshly-picked strawberries).

Southern Hill Farms

16651 Schofield Rd., Clermont | (407) 986-5806 | southernhillfarms.com

Amidst the rolling hills on the west side of town, Southern Hill grew in popularity thanks to its lush acres of blueberry bushes. In recent years, however, this family-owned and operated farm branched out to include u-pick peaches, sunflowers and, yes, strawberries. You can get your pick fix of strawberries for $4 per pound. This farm is a favorite among families like mine because it has tons of amenities, including a large kids’ play area, spacious restrooms, hayrides, delicious homemade goodies and a beer stand (with brews infused with Southern Hill’s berries). Plus, Southern Hill hosts many fun events with live music, games and more.

Note: These are working farms. Please call ahead or check each farm’s Facebook page to confirm u-pick dates, times, prices and availability.

Know Before You Go

  1. PickYourOwn.org is a digital resource that lists u-pick farms with site details, seasonal produce calendars, recipes and events. Click over to this website to find out what’s in season and more.
  2. U-pick farms typically provide containers for fruit collection, but other onsite amenities vary greatly per location. Consider bringing snacks for the kiddos, water, sunscreen, hats, handi-wipes, cash (as some farms don’t take credit cards) and maybe a cooler to transport your freshly-picked fruit if you’re not going straight home afterward. Restrooms may not be available or limited to port-o-lets, so consider taking a bathroom break before arrival.
  3. When you’re adventuring in the great outdoors, less-than-great clothes are best. Dress in garments that you don’t mind getting dirty and comfy closed-toe sneakers.
  4. Plan to process freshly-picked fruit as instructed by the farm staff as soon as possible. For example, wash berries in a colander (weeding out any debris or damaged berries). Pour berries onto a towel to gently pat dry; then store in the refrigerator. Berries freeze best when poured in a single layer on a large baking sheet and placed in the freezer until frozen; then, store them in quart-sized bags.

Eating the Fruits of Your Labor

Wondering why you should pick strawberries rather than buying a container on your next grocery run? Well, this family activity may motivate your youngsters to eat healthier – fingers crossed! You see, research shows that when children are involved in the basics of food preparation, they are more likely to eat it. And visiting a working farm is a great way to teach children about where food comes from (especially before it reaches store shelves and fast food drive-thrus).Plus, strolling around a farm will get the kiddos away from the screens and outside for fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

Berries are a very versatile food. Toss them into pancakes, baked goods or atop of ice cream and yogurt. And don’t forget to use berries in chutneys to top savory meats, in salads or even on pizzas with prosciutto, arugula and cheese. Also, try this yummy lunch recipe using your picked strawberries:

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Courtesy of Florida Strawberry Growers Association

Ingredients | Makes eight servings.

  • 1 whole baguette
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly-cracked pepper
  • 1 cup of sliced Florida strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice baguette into four pieces and then slice each in half, lengthwise.
  • Place the baguette open-faced on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Dust with cracked ground pepper and toast the in the oven until golden brown.
  • While baguette is toasting, toss strawberries, basil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. When bread is toasted golden brown, remove from oven and spread goat cheese across each slice.
  • Top goat cheese with prepared strawberries and serve.

SAVE THE DATE: Florida Strawberry Festival

303 BerryFest Place, Plant City | (813) 752-9194 | flstrawberryfestival.com

Just an hour’s drive south of Orlando, Plant City is known as the winter strawberry capital of the world. Thousands of people flock to Plant City each year to attend the annual Florida Strawberry Festival which, this year, is set for March 3-13, 2022.

This year’s theme is “#1 for FUN!” because, according to organizers of the 87th annual event, the Florida Strawberry Festival is “#1 for wholesome family fun and excitement.” This berry-centric celebration features headliner entertainment, rides and, of course, everything and anything strawberry, including tasty food, crafts and pre-picked fruit ready to take home.

Lastly, here’s a fun fact… strawberries are the only fruit that have their seeds on the outside!

 

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