As summer makes its way to the Midwest, so do ripening red strawberries.
Strawberry picking season typically lasts only a few weeks, usually concluding in early July or when fields have been depleted. There are plenty of local farms where you can plan an expedition to pick the juicy berries yourself.
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For some farmers, the harsh winters of the last two years have hit berry crops hard.
Sue Dittmar, co-owner of The Apple Patch in North Liberty, said of the 5,000 plants in her strawberry patch, only 200 survived into this year.
“I think the two cold winters weakened the plants,” Dittmar said. “It wasn’t like the patches were very old.”
Dittmar warns would-be pickers that her remaining strawberries will soon be picked over completely. Still, the farmer takes her lumps with a laugh.
“That’s agriculture for you,” she said.
But, no worries—there are plenty of other U-pick strawberry locations in the Michiana area:
The Berry Patch
8171 West 300 North, Etna Green
Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (beginning June 5)
5745 Pokagon Road, Berrien Springs, Mich.
U-pick is expected to begin late next week, although details are not yet available
Corey Lake Orchards
12147 Corey Lake Road, Three Rivers, Mich.
Daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (tentatively beginning June 15)
63185 Redwood Road, North Liberty
Daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
8249 Deans Hill Road, Berrien Center, Mich.
Daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (beginning June 10)
Imhoff U-Pick Strawberries
S.R. 119, between C.R. 40 and C.R. 13 (southwest of Goshen)
Mon., Wed. and Fri., 7 a.m. until patch is picked out (usually noon)
$1.50/pound U-pick, $4/quart pre-picked
Johnson’s Farm Produce
8960 E. Ridge Road, Hobart
Daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
$9/4-quart bucket; fill five and get the sixth free
LeCount Strawberry Farm
3472 W. 800 N., Wawaka
Daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (opening date TBD)
$1.25/pound, jewel strawberries (10 lbs. pre-picked, $18.50)
5017 Armstrong Road, Leesburg
Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nottawa Fruit Farm
24976 M-86, Sturgis, Mich.
Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m. to noon; Thu. and Fri., 3:30 to 6 p.m.
$1.25/pound (bring your own container)
Stover’s Farm Market and U-Pic
7837 M-139, Berrien Springs, Mich.
Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (beginning Friday, June 5)
Seasonal price per pound TBD
Yoder’s UPick Strawberry Patch
2021 S. 15th St., Goshen
Mon-Fri, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$1.25/lb with own container, $2.25 with Yoder’s container