Pick Your Own Strawberries in Virginia — 2024 Edition

Hey there, berry lovers! It’s strawberry season, and we’re feeling the excitement in the air! There’s nothing quite like biting into a juicy, ripe strawberry fresh from the vine. But why settle for store-bought when you can go on an adventure and pick your own at a U-pick patch?

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We’ve got a list of the best strawberry patches around, just waiting for you to explore. So grab your sun hats, buckets, and your strawberry pickin’ boots (you know you have a pair), and get ready to have a blast!

Don’t miss out on the fun and the opportunity to indulge in some of the freshest, most delicious strawberries around. Check out the list below and start planning your berry-picking excursion today!

U-Pick Strawberry Farms In Virginia

When Is The Best Time To Pick Strawberries?

These days, strawberries are available all year round, but they are at their juiciest and most flavorful during their peak season. In Virginia, that’s typically from late May to early June. The exact timing of strawberry season depends on your location and the weather conditions in your area, so be sure to check with the farm before you arrive with your picking pals.

The best time to pick strawberries is in the morning when the berries are cool and firm. Avoid picking berries in the heat of the day as they will be softer and more easily damaged. Check the weather forecast before heading out to pick strawberries, as rain can cause the berries to become waterlogged and lose their flavor.

Tips For Picking Strawberries Efficiently

Every you-pick farm will have its own way of managing its guests, but here are the key points to ensure you have a productive berry-picking day. To pick strawberries efficiently, start picking in the center of the row of plants on one side of the row and work toward you.  This will prevent you from stepping on or damaging the berries you’ve already picked. Use both hands to gently twist the berry off the stem. Be careful not to pull too hard and damage the plant. 

It’s also a good idea to bring a shallow container or basket to hold your berries. This will prevent the berries from getting crushed and make it easier to transport them back home.

How To Properly Store Freshly Picked Strawberries

Strawberries are at their best if they are consumed or cooked without refrigeration. That’s why store-bought berries never taste as bright as strawberries straight from the farm. But for most people, a day of berry picking yields far too many to consume in a day!

To keep your freshly picked strawberries sweet and juicy, it’s important to store them properly. As soon as you get home, remove any damaged or moldy berries. Water can quickly ruin your strawberries; it’s best to wait to rinse them until you are ready to use them. Storing them back in the original carton and refrigerating them may still result in some spoilage after just a few days.

The best storage method, if you have the time and space, is to use the vinegar bath method. Make a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water. Briefly soak the berries and then thoroughly dry them without rinsing them again. Then arrange the berries in a single layer in a paper towel-lined pan to let them fully air dry. You may speed up the drying process if you use a salad spinner lined with paper towels before letting them stand to finish drying. Once all moisture is gone, put the berries in a paper towel-lined container and loosely cover them. A tight lid will trap moisture, so make sure the air can move freely.

Keep the caps on the berries for storing. When you are ready to prepare them, use a spoon or berry huller to remove the caps and stems. Then give the berries a final rinse to remove the bits and pieces of leaves and stems.

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