Featured Activity: Strawberry Picking
A Relaxing, Fresh Air Outing the Whole Family Will Love
June is prime time for strawberry picking in many parts of the country. For that reason, and the fact that picking fruit is a great way to get some fresh air while physically distancing, it is this week’s Featured Activity!
Strawberries are grown from California to Michigan to the DC area, and while they are relatively easy to grow, they don’t do well in extreme temperatures. In the DC area for example, their most fruitful harvest will come before high summer temperatures really set in, which means they are unlikely to stretch past late June.
Wherever you are in the country, we encourage you to explore fresh fruit and vegetable picking options. The activity is entertaining and educational for the whole family, and also supplies the materials for creative and fun family cooking and baking projects at home. As an added bonus, our little ones have a new regard for healthy eating and a willingness to try new things every time we experience farm to table dining!
5594 Norrisville Rd, White Hall, MD
This weekend our family took a trip out to Shaw’s Orchard. A family farm where my grandfather first brought me 40 years ago, Shaw’s obviously left a lasting impression. The family bought the land back in 1841, the farmhouse went up in 1860 and the original owner’s great grandson planted the very first commercial fruit trees in 1909.
Seven generations later, it is still home base for the family, and according to the website, the market is just ten feet south of the Mason-Dixon line. Learn more about the history of Shaw’s on the website, where you can also view regular updates to see if they have what you are looking for before you make the trip, or simply give them a call. The family and the entire staff are so friendly, and will always let you know honestly if the picking is slim or bountiful!
Shaw’s welcomes kids of all ages, and there are generally quite a few families out on the farm picking. They provide all you need, from containers for berries, buckets for cherries as well as ladders, etc. so just be sure to arrive with an empty trunk to haul your harvest home! We visit every year in early June for strawberries and again in early July for blueberries and cherries. It's also one of the few farms to offer black raspberries - a family favorite.
The strawberry fields are a hike from the market, so a tractor pulled wagon ride is provided, but with physical distancing on everyone’s mind, families are welcome to take the ten minute walk out to the field if they’d prefer. There are also opportunities to pay in the field, so you also have the option to avoid the market during this time if you choose.
If it isn’t crowded and you have masks available, the market is always freshly stocked with whatever is ready for picking, so stop in if you are passing through, even if you don’t have time to head to the fields. They have a wonderful array of homemade items too, though I have yet to try them myself.
If Shaw's Orchard doesn't have what you're looking for, try Blevin's, Brown's or Maplelawn, three other orchards within fifteen minutes of Shaw’s. If you have some extra time, check out nearby Shrewsbury, a town with plenty of shopping and eating options to explore!
Located an hour north of Baltimore, Shaw’s is a lovely destination drive, as well as from DC (an hour and a half) or Philadelphia (less than two hours). Not in the area? That shouldn’t hold you back. For a farm near you, check out websites like Local Harvest and create your own adventure!! Stay safe and enjoy the special moments!
As always, we welcome your family's highlights! Tag us on Instagram @gethappyly in all your favorite strawberry picking moments, and please introduce us to your favorite farm at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are eager to explore it and feature it on the app and website in the near future! Can’t wait to hear from you!
We also encourage you to explore our blog for more inspiration from our featured activities, such as Plan A Picnic, Declare Today Your Favorite Holiday, or Camp-In and many other creative ways to keep the whole family entertained and connected!
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