Spring has sprung and that means strawberry picking season is finally upon us in Maryland! If you are looking for local grown, pick-your-own berry farms in the Southern Maryland area, than this article is here to help! As you read through this guide you will find farms that offer pick your own berries in Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s County and the surrounding area. Strawberry season usually lasts early May through early June; however, they are popping up early this year! A few farms just announced they will open for the season this week!
FARMS BY COUNTY
Crop/Activities: Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Pick Your Own and ready, activities for kids and picnic area. They are open for the season as of April 22, 2023. Strawberries are ready for picking as of April 22, 2023. Blueberries mid-June.
Location: 7740 Swann Lane, Owings, MD 20736
Linda’s Greenhouse – Jakes Produce
Crop/Activities: Farmers market with fresh produces, flower center and pick your own strawberries. They are open for the season as of April 23, 2023. Hours vary, check their Facebook page.
Location: 5980 Broomes Island Rd. Saint Leonard, MD
Crop/Activities: Strawberries pre-pick or pick-your-own, garden and farmers market. Strawberry crop is ready for picking as of April 23, 2023 with limited hours. Once the season fully opens in May hours will switch to daily 10AM-5PM.
Location: 12850 Shlagel Rd Waldorf, Maryland 20601
ST MARY’S COUNTY
Crops/Activities: Uses natural growing practices and has blackberries & blueberries
Blueberry and blackberry picking seasons is usually July-August.
Hours: 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Location: 43865 Thompson Farm Lane, Hollywood, MD 20636
Phone: 301 373 8545
Crops/Activities: U-pick Greens & strawberries (Crop expected Late to Mid May. They are usually a few weeks after neighboring crops.)
Location: 39136 Avie Lane, Mechanicsville, MD
Crops: Pick your own strawberries. Strawberry season is open for picking as of April 23, 2023. Hours vary, so be sure to check their Facebook page before going.
Location: 39010 Lyon Lane, Mechanicsville, MD
Crops/Activities: pick your own strawberries, gift shop and snacks. Season started April 24, 2023 for this years berry season. Visit Facebook page for hours; as they vary.
Location: 22410 Bushwood Wharf Road, Bushwood, MD 20618
PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY
Crops/Activities: Pick your own strawberries are available this year, starting Thursday April 27, 2023. The farmers market is also open with fresh eggs, produces and baked goods and amazing homemade soft served ice Cream.
Location: 10140 Piscataway Rd, Clinton, MD 20735
BERRY PICKING TIPS
- Check online or call before you go. Make sure it’s a good day to pick and that they are open. Sometimes schools take field trips or rain can cause closures; so it’s always good to check first.
- Go early in the day, it’s less crowded and not as hot.
- Forgo the stroller! It’s not easy tooting around tots in a stroller on the farm because of the muddy ground and the fact that the rows are to narrow. Baby wearing is a much better option. If you absolutely need a way to wheel a little one around; I recommend bringing or borrowing an all terrain wagon.
- Pack supplies: Make sure you lather up with sun screen, bring a brimmed hat to shade your face and wearing close toed shoes or rain boot. I also bring a little spray bottle to spritz off the berries. The kids usually like to eat a a few as they go.
- Bring along some wipes for wiping messy faces.
- For technique on picking strawberries off the vine visit this link. Strawberries are ready for picking when they are a bright fire engine red.
- If you make your own preserves, be on the look out for sales. Sometimes the farms will have an abundance of bushels they need to get rid of quickly.
STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM IN A BAG
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Half & Half or Whole Milk
- 1 Tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 TBSP of pureed strawberries
- 1/4 Cup of Sugar
- Rock salt
- Ice Cubes
- Gallon Sized Ziploc Bags
HOW TO MAKE ICE CREAM IN BAG:
- Combine the cream, vanilla, sugar and strawberries in to a ziplock bag and secure completely closed.
- Next, fill a ziplock bag with a little more than half full with ice and add the rock salt and shack gently to mix together.
- Than place the bag of ice cream ingredients into the bag of ice and seal the bag.
- Now for the fun part, wrap a hand towel around the bag and start shaking vigorously for about 10 minutes, or until the ice cream is ready. It should be thick and creamy not runny.
- You don’t want it to melt so serve right away and more importantly enjoy!
STRAWBERRY SEED COUNTING ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Felt or Paper
- Small Pom Poms or Raisins
- Small Tongs or Clothes Pin
HOW TO PLAY COUNTING STRAWBERRY SEEDS:
- Prepare a pre-cut strawberry using felt or paper.
- Set up small pom poms or raisins in a bowl or small pouch such as a pencil bag.
- Have little one roll the dice.
- Next they add that amount to the strawberry using the tongs. This activity is great counting skills and for dexterity/fine motor skills.
NON-COOK STRAWBERRY PLAY DOUGH
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 2 Cups of Flour
- 1/4 Cup of Salt
- 1/2 Cup of Boiling Water
- 1 Small Box of Strawberry Jello
- 1 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar
- 1 Tbsp. Cooking oil
HOW TO MAKE NON-COOK STRAWBERRY PLAY DOUGH:
- Combine all of the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Next pour boiling water into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a spoon.
- Add oil and knead with hands.
- Lastly, let cool in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
***The Playful Parent is not paid to endorse the farmers listed. This article was created to help make strawberry picking easy and fun for Southern Maryland Families. Our family has been berry picking pros for many years, so I hope this guide helps. The Playful Parent is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit that advocates learning through play and promotes family bonding. All content from this article is intellectual property of TPP.***
May 11, 2023 at 10:02 pm
Southern Comfort Berry Farm is stroller and wheelchair accessible!