Strawberry picking in Georgia begins near the end of April and runs through most of May. For the farm nearest you, be sure to like their Facebook page, as it is usually the best way to know what is going on at the farm. You can also give a call before you drive out to make sure there will still be plenty of ripe berries to pick when you arrive. Some days farms will be picked out early, closed because they are ripening berries or because the weather is too muddy.
Strawberry Picking in Georgia
McDonough, Ga. 5-acres of strawberries. Other farm activities include Belle’s Barn, Jumping Pillow, Cow Train, Pedal Cars and Hayride (all on the weekends.) Restrooms, picnic tables and concessions (The strawberry ice cream is the best around!) 1 gallon buckets provided for picking; return them after use or take them home for $1. Pre-picked berries also available. Cash and credit cards. Monday-Saturdays 8am-6pm and Sundays 1-6pm. You-Pick 1Gal. for $12.00; Pre-picked 1Gal. for $14.00 More farm info here.
Logansville and Watkinsville (near Athens, Ga) Four weekends in spring the Watkinsville location offers Super Spring Saturdays with activities for the kids ($8) and concessions. There is also a petting zoo, pig races, campfires and more. Pre-picked berries also available. Cash, check and credit cards. Open Monday-Saturdays 8am-8pm; closed Sundays. You-Pick 1Gal. for $12.00; Pre-picked 1Gal. for $14.00
Dallas, Ga. Great family farm without the “agritourism” of other farms in the state. 2016 hours and prices have not yet been posted. Watch their Facebook page for the most updated info. Cash only.
The Rock, Ga. Enjoy the festival where you can pick your own strawberries or purchase them pre-picked. Festival activities include The Rock Ranch’s activities such as Locomotive Train Rides, Pedal Carts, Cane Pole Fishing, Tiny Town, Petting Zoo, Giant Jumping Pillow, Paddle Boats and more. Cash and credit cards. April 23 10am – 5pm.
Cumming, Ga. 3 acres of strawberries. Don’t miss Farmer for a Day and the Strawberry Shortcake Tea Party, both in April. There is also a Strawberry Festival each year with vendors, face painting (extra cost), “Hey”rides, petting zoo, fun park, craft for kids, a visit with strawberry shortcake and more. Date TBD. Cash and credit cards. Strawberry picking an Fun Park open Saturdays: 10:30-5:3 and Sundays 1:00-5:30. 2016 prices TBD.
Colbert, Ga (near Athens.) 25,000 plants. 1 gallon buckets provided for picking; return them after use or take them home for $1. Cash and checks only. Open Monday-Sunday 9am-6pm. You-Pick 1Gal. for $11.00; Pre-picked 1Gal. for $13.00 (call ahead.)
Alto, Ga 13-acres of strawberries, all pre-picked. Don’t miss the Strawberry Festival on May 7, 2016 from 9am – 6pm for the only time to get u-pick berries…plus tons of samples in the market, a strawberry cook-off, local craft vendors, farm tours & more!
Fayetteville, Ga 2 gallon buckets provided, but you must bring your own container for taking berries home. Cash and checks only. U-pick or pre-picked. Monday – Saturday 9am – 4pm. 2016 prices not yet available.
Mitcham Farm is open for strawberry picking every day of the week. Visit them on April 30 for the Strawberry Festival. In addition to U-pick strawberries, there are also pre-picked strawberries for sale, live music, tractor demonstrations, arts and crafts, food vendors, inflatables for the kids, a mountain slide, hayrides, farm animals and face painting.
Each person gets a tractor tour and a basket to fill with fresh u-pick strawberries. Note that animals are NOT allowed either on the tractor or in the orchard, unless they are a service animal, so Fido needs to stay at home. Also good to note that since Mercier is in North Georgia, the strawberry season starts a little later and will be available a little longer than the fields south of Atlanta. So if you’re a little late in the season, Mercer may be a better place to go. Note that Mercier uses an inter-grated pest control system. The sprays they use are completely water soluble and rinse off with a .10” of rain or fresh water.
Did we miss your favorite place for strawberries in Georgia? Let us know so we can add it here!
Tips to keep your strawberries fresh
- Don’t wash the strawberries until you’re ready to use them. Once they are washed, they start to deteriorate faster.
- The later you pick the sweeter the berries, but the darker the seeds.
- Once you get your bucket home, if there are any left, take half and put them in a flat bottomed dish with a dry paper towel on the bottom. The weight of the strawberries on top will crush the ones below if left that way.
- Keep the caps on the strawberries until you are ready to eat them. This will keep them fresher.
- Store strawberries in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Strawberries at our house never last for more than a day or so, but I hear some people can have more strawberries than they can possibly eat, so they freeze them. If you’d like to freeze your berries, here are some helpful tips:
- Use only firm, fully ripe berries.
- To avoid bruising and soaking the berries, wash only a few at a time in cold water.
- Drain on absorbent paper or in a colander or sieve.
- Remove the hulls with the tip of a floating blade peeler.
- Chill the fruit in ice water to lower its temperature for fast freezing.
- You can freeze strawberries plain, but Southern Belle Farms recommends freezing them in a dry sugar pack, following these suggestions:
- Halve, quarter, or slice clean berries into a bowl or shallow pan. If desired, berries may be crushed rather than sliced.
- Sprinkle sugar over berries, using 1/3 to 3/4 cup sugar for each quart of fruit.
- Gently turn berries over and over until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
- Package and freeze.
My friend Karen has an incredible food blog called In the Kitchen with KP. She has the most delicious recipes including these wonderful ideas on what to do with all those strawberries.
No Bake Strawberry Stacks: I love this recipe because it’s so easy and pretty. All you need is a box of Famous Chocolate Wafter Cookies, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and strawberries. Mmmmm
Overnight Strawberry Stuffed French Toast: This one requires a little more work, but it can all be done the night before. Then while the toast is baking, you can cut up the strawberries and add a little sugar for the topping. Perfect for a fancy brunch, or just a special breakfast.
Have a special strawberry recipe you’d like to share? Leave us a comment!
*Photo by Flickr/James Lee