Strawberries. They’re ripe for the picking and you’re lucky to live in an area with a lot of “U-pick” farms with varieties of berries to choose from.
Sweet Pick’ins Farms
Lewis Tapley owns Sweet Pick’ins Farms, a mile outside of Dadeville, Ala. He planted 10,000 strawberry plants — camarosa and chandler — on three-quarters of an acre. “Camarosas have a two- to three-day shelf life, chandlers are a wee bit sweeter, but don’t keep as well,” Tapley said.
The price per gallon is $9 if you pick or $12 already picked. Military get a $1 discount, he said, and families are welcome to come and enjoy the novelty of picking their own fruit. “The kids have a big time out here,” he said. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tapley said he should have berries for the next four weeks. For more information and directions, visit www.sweetpickinsfarm.com or friend them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/sweet-pickins-farm/.
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Near Eufaula, Ala., is Backyard Orchards. Founded by sisters Allie Cocoran and Cassie Young, this is the farm’s second year. On three acres, they planted 28,000 plants and three varieties — camerosa, chandler and festival. Festival is a firmer berry, great for packaging because it keeps longer, said Allie. Backyard Orchards prices are $10 you pick and pre-picked, $13. Two gallons are $20 and overripe berries cost $10 for two gallons. For more information, call 334-695-7623 or visit Facebook at Backyard Orchards.
In Reynolds, Ga., there are several you-pick strawberry farms.
The Strawberry Patch at Taylor Orchards, near the Silver Dollar Raceway, on Silver Dollar Road, has five acres planted with nearly 100,000 camarosa strawberries. Trish Wainwright said the berries are “scattered” because of the school trips from Muscogee County. The season is through May 10 and they update their Facebook page regularly, www.facebook.com/pages/The-Strawberry-Patch-at-Taylor-Orchards/186823644947. The berries are $2 a pound or $2.50 pre-picked.
Taylor Orchards offers you-pick strawberries at $2 a pound or pre-picked at $2.50. Although the four acres of camarosa strawberries have about 18,000 plants per acre, Joy Parker said the plants need some time because they were picked clean for the strawberry festival. Taylor Orchards is online at taylororchards.com. The address is Taylor Orchards, 1665 E. Falline Freeway, Reynolds, Ga. For more information, call 478-847-4186.
For more information on you-pick farms in Alabama or Georgia, type both “you pick strawberries” or “u pick strawberries” in your favorite Internet search engine.