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Travel & Outdoors

Top Spots To Pick Your Own Summer Produce

June 6, 2014 8:00 AM

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(credit: MICHAEL URBAN/Getty Images)

(credit: MICHAEL URBAN/Getty Images)

Farmers’ markets are everywhere in the summer time, but there’s nothing like picking your own produce straight from the field or the orchard for freshness. To reawaken the gatherer in you, head to one of these local farms and get your hands dirty. – Chelsea Karnash

PENNSYLVANIA

Linvilla Orchards

598 Linvilla Rd
Media, Pa.

Open: Daily, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

A fall favorite, Linvilla also has tons of activities and events going on during the other three seasons. From various fruit festivals (Strawberry is on June 7th, Raspberry is coming up next on June 28, followed by Blueberry on July 12) to pony rides and mini golf, there’s pretty much always something happening. Grab the kids and pick your own blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, flowers, corn, rhubarb, apricots, cherries, blackberries…the list goes on and on. You choose your picking container, and be prepared to pay by weight (with a $5 minimum).

Highland Orchards

1000 Thornedale Rd
West Chester, Pa.

Open: Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Come for the year-round apple cider donuts in the farm market; stay to pick-your-own produce. Once you’ve chowed down on a donut or two, register to pick-your-own inside the Farm Market, then head out to the fields. PYO options include rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, sweet corn and more. Once you’ve taken your haul home, check the website’s recipe section and make your own treats.

Shady Brook Farm

931 Stony Hill Rd
Yardley, Pa.

Open: Daily, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Shady Brook’s Strawberry Fun Days on weekends in June offer visitors a “berry fun” PYO option. Spend just $5 per person for all day access to the strawberries, which run $1.99 a pound, plus the chance to see fireworks, participate in activities and let the kids romp around on various inflatables or the new playground. If you can’t get there in time for you-pick strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are up next starting in mid-June.

Longview Farm and Market

3215 Stump Hall Rd
Collegeville, Pa.

Open: Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Feast after you pick: At Longview, every Saturday and Sunday after June 7th and through the month is a “Strawberry Day,” when visitors can fill up their baskets with berries then indulge in $5 all-you-can-eat berry pancakes (10 a.m. – noon)! Sound amazing? That’s because it is. But if strawberries aren’t your thing, there are also blueberries, peaches, sugar snap peas, green beans, flowers, corn and more to be had.

Solebury Orchards

3325 Creamery Rd
New Hope, Pa.

Open: Late June (TBD)

Though it isn’t slated to open for the season until late June, this bountiful farm in New Hope is sure to have tons of sun-ripened blueberries, cherries and blackberries over the summer. Word to the wise: pick up some hand-pressed applesauce in the market post-picking.

NEW JERSEY

Johnson’s Corner Farm

133 Church Rd
Medford, NJ

Open: Daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Berry-themed weekends abound at Johnson’s Farm, where June 6 and 7 is the Strawberry Festival. Take a hayride out to the fields to get your hands dirty, then enjoy burgers and live music. If you can’t get to the Strawberry Fest, make a trip for other PYO produce such as broccoli, blueberries, cherries, peaches and sweet potatoes (!!!). After you get your fill of picking, make a pit stop at the farm’s bakery for scrumptious treats such as muffins, cakes, chocolate-covered fruit and homemade fudge. There’s even fresh-scooped Bassetts Ice Cream served from an old-school “ice cream window”!

Haines Berry Farm

98 Sheep Pen Hill Rd
Pemberton, NJ

Open: Daily, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Bring a picnic to enjoy with the fam, then head out into the fields aboard a wagon to pick fresh blueberries. Though the picking season at this Burlington County farm doesn’t start until late June, it’s worth the wait to try their delicious blueberry jams, jellies, honey and iced tea, as well as chocolate-covered blueberries, which are sold in the farm’s retail store.

Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm

419 Elk Rd
Monroeville, NJ

Open: Closed Sunday

While it’s primarily known for its delectable honey products, Fruitwood also offers you-pick fruit including strawberries and cherries. Just be sure to BYO container; the farm recommends small buckets.

Mood’s Farm Market

901 Bridgeton Pk
Mullica Hill, NJ

Open: Starting in June; Daily, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

No word yet on when Mood’s will be open for the 2014 season, but with a plethora of berries, plums, peaches, pears and other fruit available for the pickin’, this is a good place to head to if you’re in the area. The Blueberry Festival, happening on July 12, is their big summer event. Stop by for the blueberry dessert contest (yum!), face-painting, games, blueberry donuts and of course, all-day blueberry picking. Just FYI, you’ll need to bring your own picking container, and bags are prohibited.

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