Just as apples announce that fall is here, few things signal the start of summer like pick-your-own berries. And, sure, you could run to the local market to pick up a pint of your favorites, but nothing beats a berry — whether straw-, rasp-, black-, or blue- — fresh from the Earth.
In the Philly area, we’ve got tons of local farms and orchards that have fields brimming with PYO berries throughout the season, from New Jersey to Lancaster County and beyond. So, why not make a day of it? That way, you can make some memories in addition to whatever pies, jams, or pancakes you have planned.
Remember, though, you’ll be out trolling the fields during warm weather — so remember to dress comfortably, slather on sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.
And as with anything agricultural, starting times for the season are not exact, and what’s available can depend on the week, the weather, and overall picking conditions. So, if you’re looking for something specific, call ahead to your destination first.
Remember: You should only pick ripe berries, meaning completely red strawberries without green or white tips, easily plucked raspberries, and dark, plump blackberries and blueberries. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask the folks at the farm — after all, they’re the experts.
So, where can you go around here to pick some berries? Here are some options in the region:
For a quick trip:
You can buy timed tickets online for this New Jersey farm, which has strawberries ready for picking starting in mid-May. From mid-June through July, blueberries are available for PYO, followed by other summery crops like sweet corn, peaches, and string beans. And if you and the kids are all picked out, check out their Discovery Barnyard for fun activities like go-carts, climbing rocks, and splash pads.
You mostly hear about this classic Delco spot in the fall because of their apple picking, but they also offer great berry picking during the summer. Strawberries start in mid-to-late May, followed by raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries ripening in mid-to-late June and through July. Prepurchase timed tickets online ($7 per person), the cost of which will be credited toward your bounty.
Just down the road from Linvilla, there’s also great berry picking at Indian Orchards Farm. Running for more than 100 years, this 35-acre plot offers raspberries and blueberries starting in June, and then adds blackberries into the mix in July (and, as a bonus, raspberries and blackberries tend to return briefly in the early fall). Entrance into the fields is $2.50 per person, plus the cost of whatever you pick, no reservations needed.
This Bucks County farm’s summer picking season typically runs from early June through late August, when you’ll be able to find strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, depending on when you go (plus plenty of other PYO offerings, like peaches and sunflowers). But for the full-on summer berry experience, check out their annual Strawberry Festival, which runs on select days in June and features everything from PYO berries to live music.
A longer drive:
Reservations are required to pick your own berries at this Bucks County farm, but the (small) effort is worth it. Here, they kick things off in June with PYO strawberries and add in raspberries and blackberries (an easy-picking, thorn-free variety, in fact) in July. There’s plenty to do besides pick fruit, though, such as their Aerial Adventure Park, family-focused Adventure Farm, kid-friendly obstacle course, and, on weekends, goat yoga.
📍 5500 N. Easton Rd., Doylestown (38 miles from Center City), 📞 215-766-8388, ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org, 🌐 hellericksfarm.com, 📷 @hellericksfarm, 🕑 Hours vary depending on the month (call ahead or check their Facebook)
Head to Princeton for some Jersey-fresh PYO berries from this 200-acre farm. Among the 40-some crops they grow are strawberries (late May to early June), blueberries (late June to late July), and blackberries (July to August) — plus other summer fruits including cherries (mid-June for sweet, late June for tart). Plus, if you’re all picked out, you can always hit their excellent Farm Store for a less labor-intensive treat.
Like Linvilla, Highland Orchards is known for their apple picking — but there’s so much more at this Chester County farm. The pick-your-own season kicks off in late May or early June with strawberries, followed by raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries (plus some more raspberries later in the season, as well as sweet and sour cherries in mid-June). Once the season starts, make a timed reservation online ahead of your visit.
📍 1000 Mashallton Thorndale Rd., West Chester (41 miles from Center City), 📞 610-269-3494, ✉️ email@example.com, 🌐 highlandorchards.net, 📷 @highlandorchardsinc, 🕑 Tue.-Wed. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
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Solebury opens its 80-acre Bucks County plot in late June and is kicking things off with a crop of PYO blueberries, which it anticipates will last through mid-August. After that, you can expect to find some blackberries ripe for the picking throughout August, and then the PYO apples (about two dozen varieties) start coming in. Solebury is open rain or shine, and all PYO fruit is priced by the pound.
A full day trip:
It’s tough to beat this Berks County orchard for the variety of PYO berries they have throughout the season. June brings strawberries, black raspberries, and red raspberries, followed by blueberries and blackberries in July, and then kiwi berries (kind of a cross between a kiwi and a grape) hit in the early fall. And if you’ve got a particularly sweet tooth, swing on by their ice cream shed, where you can choose from 10 flavors.
A few miles away from Weaver’s, you’ll find another orchard with plenty of berries to choose from throughout the season. Brecknock kicks things off in early June with their PYO strawberry crop, followed by red raspberries in mid-June, blueberries and black raspberries in late June, and blackberries in early July. Plus, if you’re picking, the orchard provides you a complimentary bottle of water to help you keep hydrated.
📍 390 Orchard Rd., Mohnton (63 miles from Center City), 📞 717-445-5704, ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org, 🌐 brecknockorchard.com, 📷 @brecknockorchard, 🕑 Mon., Tue., Thu. 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wed. and Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
This one’s a berry farm located on Berry Drive in Lehigh County, so you know you’re not lost. The season starts with strawberries (plus sour and sweet cherries) in June. Then, in July, blueberries, red raspberries, and black raspberries ripen, followed by blackberries in August. One note, though: The farm doesn’t accept credit and debit cards, so make sure you bring cash.
All berry sales are PYO at this small Lancaster County farm, which starts its season at the beginning of June with strawberries. In mid-June, the black and red raspberries hit. And if you can’t make it out to the farm, you can head to the Clark Park Farmers’ Market on Saturdays during the summer and fall, when Shenk’s pops up to sell their fruits and veggies to us Philly folks.
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