Summer activities will surely be different this year, but one Pacific Northwest favorite is still an option - strawberry picking! Hallelujah! Get ready for some dirt under your nails, field nibbles of sun-ripened berries, and a dose of vitamin D. After months of being cooped up, an outdoor adventure seems like the perfect outing for young and old alike.
Now, not all farms are offering u-pick this year; some are strictly selling at their farm stands or local markets, but there are a handful of Western Washington farms that have opened up their fields for u-pick. You’ll find their information below. All farms recommend calling or checking their social media outlets on the day you plan to pick just to be sure though weather is always changing and crops ebb and flow.
Typically strawberries are ripe for the picking mid-June until about the 4th of July. So many things can influence the growing season though so the sooner you can plan your strawberry outing the better. Are you ready for the juicy goodness of fresh Washington-grown strawberries?!? It seems that berry picking just might be the highlight of the summer so get out to these fields ASAP, the season will be over before we know it!
21412 59th Ave NE, Arlington, WA 98223
Since 1948 Biringer Farm has been growing scrumptious strawberries in the Pacific Northwest. Their fields are conveniently located just a few minutes off I-5 in Arlington. U-pick is currently offered every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or while supplies last. Biringer requests that you arrive at least one hour prior to closing so there is time to get in and out of the fields. Biringer strawberries are $3.25/pound and they highly recommend wearing boots to the fields - the recent rain has made things quite muddy!
7701 Carnation Duvall Rd NE, Carnation, Washington 98014
Harvold is unique in that they are only a u-pick field. That means there are no berries leaving the field before you get there headed for farm stands you get first pick, literally! Harvold Berry Farm is closed on Sundays, but open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the rest of the week. They grow Shuksan and Puget Crimson berries and their Facebook page just announced that Shuksan are ready and the others will soon follow. Berries are $2 per pound and Harvold provides containers.
32610 NE 32nd St, Carnation, Washington 98014
For over 50 years family owned and operated Remlinger Farms has been providing a close-up view of farm life to Northwest families. At Remlinger, berries are just one part of their story - they offer something almost all year round from their famous pies to fall time celebrations. But, ‘tis the season for berries and u-pick strawberries are first up at $2 per pound! U-pick fields are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for the amazing Puget Crimson variety while supplies last ,so check online before you go and then head out as early as you can.
Bolles Organic Berry Farm
17930 Tualco Loop Rd, Monroe, Washington 98272
If you’re looking for organic, Bolles is the place to pick! U-pick days and times fluctuate so check the Bolles Organic Berry Farm Facebook page for daily announcements. Most days it seems they are open mid-morning (around 11 a.m.) to 3 p.m., sometimes 5 p.m.. So plan for a lunch time pick to insure you get some time in the field! Strawberries are $3/pound and due to recent weather they recommend bringing your own plastic container and wearing boots!
7655 Melody Ln, Ferndale, Washington 98248
A bit north of Bellingham you’ll find Barbie’s Berries and June has brought forth fields of Hood and Shuksan strawberries reading for the picking. U-pick is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. And, there is incentive to pick more at Barbie’s Berries! U-pick strawberries are $2.25 per pound but if you reach 10 pounds of berries the price drops to $1.90 per pound! Barbie’s provides buckets for you to pick in but you’ll need your own container to transport your harvest home in so bring a bowl or basket.
Things to remember when u-picking this year
- If you feel ill, stay home. The berries (and other pickers) don’t want to catch any germs :)
- Wash or sanitize your hands before entering the fields.
- Keep your distance. I love Harvold and Remlinger’s idea to assign picking to every other row. What a simple way to encourage and easily maintain social distancing.
- Wear a mask during check-in and checkout. While in the outdoor fields masks are not required, but recommended.
- Bring a card rather than cash for less contact payment.
- Wash your berries well before enjoying.
What to bring ...
- A container to pick and/or transport your berries in. Some farms offer complimentary containers but it never hurts to go prepared
- Hand sanitizer
- Sun protection - hats and sunscreen
- Rain gear and boots
- Wipes for sticky hands
- Change of clothes ... you never know when a slip in the mud can happen!
As I mentioned, a number of farms who normally offer u-pick have chosen to forgo that segment of business this year, so don’t consider this list of u-pick all inclusive for the rest of time things might be different next year! And, many who aren’t offering strawberry u-pick have hopes of offering u-pick for other berries later this summer. Hold tight for raspberries, blueberries, and more! It’s going to be a delicious summer!