You could head to the grocery store or have your provisions delivered to your home during the coronavirus pandemic. But sometimes, it’s nice to get out into nature and pick your own fruits and vegetables to take home.
For Philly-area folks, there is no shortage of farms and orchards offering that opportunity. We can get everything from succulent blackberries and peaches, to gorgeous tomatoes and sweet peppers. You can even travel a bit and make a day trip out of it, if you’re up to the task.
Naturally, with a pandemic going, your trip will include plenty of social distancing and mask-wearing, so don’t forget the usual precautions. And, as always, crop selection and availability are subject to change, so it is best to call the farm or orchard to see what is available for picking.
We’ve rounded up a dozen area farms and orchards where you can go and pick your own fruits, veggies, and even flowers.
If you just want something flowery to pick, this Plymouth Meeting farm is your spot. At it since 1916, Maple Acres today is known for its pick-your-own zinnias — but also occasionally offer PYO on items like broccoli and tomatoes.
2656 Narcissa Rd., Plymouth Meeting, 19 miles from Center City, open 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, check in at the market before picking, 610-828-7395, mapleacresfarmmarket.com
Buy a timed ticket online to pick at this New Jersey farm, where you can take home veggies, including sweet corn, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and potatoes — or just some sunflowers and zinnias if you’re full-up on food. Kids not feeling pick-y? Head to the Discovery Barnyard for pedal go-carts and splash pads.
133 Church Rd., Medford, 21 miles from Center City, start times are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, 609-654-8643, johnsonsfarm.com
Linvilla Orchards is a classic Delco destination, and current pick-your-own offerings include options like blackberries, raspberries, and several varieties of apples, as well as tomatoes, eggplant, and sweet peppers. Other attractions like its playground and picnic area are closed due to COVID-19, but you can do some socially distanced fishing at the on-site Orchard Lake.
Don’t miss: Need another PYO opportunity? Indian Orchards Farm, which features organically grown fruits and veggies ripe for picking, is a five-minute drive away.
137 W. Knowlton Rd., Media, 25 miles from Center City, open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, 610-876-7116, linvilla.com
At it since 2001, this Bucks County orchard offers a robust pick-your-own program that includes apples, nectarines, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and more. No reservations are required to PYO, but if you want a limited-capacity hayride to your picking spot, make sure you wear your mask.
Don’t miss: If you’ve got young kids in tow — and you’re comfortable in a theme park right now — Sesame Place is about three miles away, and open Thursday through Sunday with plenty of COVID-19 precautions.
97 Styers Lane, Langhorne, 26 miles from Center City, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, though hours are subject to change, so call before you visit, 215-702-9633, styerorchard.com
Located on 200 acres in Princeton, N.J., Terhune Orchards grows more than 40 crops — but pick-your-own offerings are currently limited to zinnias and other flowers, and some blackberries, according to its website. On the horizon are PYO gourds and pumpkins, and more than a dozen kinds of apples. Picked out? Check out the excellent Farm Store.
Don’t miss: It’s not just fruit and veggies here. Terhune also has an on-site winery, where you can grab some food and some wine (or wine slushy!) to enjoy in the outdoor seating area on weekends.
330 Cold Soil Rd., Princeton, N.J., 40 miles from Center City, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 609-924-2310, terhuneorchards.com
Don’t miss: Want to take in a little more natural beauty? Longwood Gardens is less than 10 miles away and open for timed admission.
1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Rd., West Chester, 45 miles from Center City, reservation times and availability vary daily due to field and weather conditions, 610-269-3494, highlandorchards.net
Solebury’s 80-acre plot grows all kinds of fruits and berries, and you can currently head out to the Bucks County spot for limited quantities of PYO blueberries and blackberries, as well as cherry tomatoes and flowers. By late August, they’ll start offering PYO on about 20 varieties of apples throughout the fall.
Don’t miss: If you’re looking to get in a little bit of shopping alongside your fruit haul, head about 3.5 miles south to Peddler’s Village, where you can hit up more than 60 stores.
3325 Creamery Rd., New Hope, 45 miles from Center City, open Thursday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 215-297-8079, soleburyorchards.com
Located in bucolic Berks County, Weaver’s Orchard allows customers to pick their own peaches, nectarines, blackberries, blueberries, and Earligold and Honeycrisp apples, with other apples and pears coming soon. However, you’ll need to use the orchard’s own prepaid containers, as containers brought from home aren’t allowed because of COVID-19.
Don’t miss: To keep it outdoorsy, take a 15-minute drive to nearby French Creek State Park for 35 miles of hiking trails, plus wildlife watching and fishing opportunities.
40 Fruit Ln., Morgantown, Pa., 52 miles from Center City, open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 610-856-7300, weaversorchard.com
Head out to this Lancaster County location to pick a variety of fruits and vegetables, including peaches, nectarines, apples, blackberries, raspberries, sweet and hot peppers, corn, cucumbers, and eggplant. As a bonus, Brecknock provides bottled water to picking customers, so remember to stay hydrated out there.
Don’t miss: Looking for a bite and a brew? Craft beer pioneer Stoudts Brewing Co. is about five minutes away, and is offering outdoor seating and a full food menu Thursday through Sunday.
390 Orchard Rd., Mohnton, Pa., 63 miles from Center City, open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, 717-445-5704, brecknockorchard.com
Phillips Farms has a variety of Jersey fresh produce ripe for the picking — peaches, nectarines, blackberries, blueberries, and even elderberries — but it’s best to call its hotline for current availability. Please note: a Phillips Farms bucket, available for $2 at check-in (or you can bring a used one for free), is required to pick.
Don’t miss: To get in some natural wonder, head across the river to Hellertown, Pa., where you can check out Lost River Caverns, a five-room limestone cavern that recently reopened for tours (reservations required).
91 Crabapple Hill Rd., Milford, N.J., 65 miles from Center City, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, but closed Tuesdays, 908-995-0022, phillipfarms.com
Hit up this Lehigh County farm for items like blueberries, blackberries, string beans, and peaches. No reservations required, but remember to bring cash — debit and credit cards are not accepted.
5681 Berry Dr., New Tripoli, Pa., 67 miles from Center City, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, 610-298-2591, schmidtberryfarm.com
Apple picking at Grim’s starts mid-August with Honeycrisp apples, but PYO produce, such as zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes, are also available. Be sure to check out the Great Potato Dig (where your picks can be fried up into french fries) and the Sunflower Experience (where you can walk through sunflower fields and cut one to take home).