Pick your own strawberry season 2012

strawberries box strawberry field samascott

Strawberries -- and strawberry fields -- at Samascott in Kinderhook.

Strawberry season has started! The local pick-your-own farms are open for the season. And it sounds like the crop has turned out OK, despite the weird spring, though some of the farms say the season will be short.

A typical strawberry season here usually only lasts a few weeks -- so don't wait. It sounds like this weekend, and especially the next week, will be the prime time.

Here are a handful of places in the greater Capital Region that you can pick your own strawberries. Know of a good place not on this list? Please share!

Important: you should call ahead the day you're heading out to get the conditions.

Albany County

Altamont Orchards
6654 Dunnsville Road Altamont, NY 12009 (map)
(518) 861-6515
Monday-Friday 8 am-noon | Saturday and Sunday 8 am-3 pm
PYO strawberries are $2.15/pound Thursday-Tuesday, $1.99 on Wednesday
Bring your own containers. "Season will be short do not wait."

Indian Ladder Farms
342 Altamont Rd, Altamont, NY (map)
(866) 640-7425
Monday-Sunday 9-4:30
Pick your own strawberries are $2.95/quart. As of today, conditions are said to be "good."

Columbia County

Samascott Orchards
5 Sunset Ave, Kinderhook, NY (map)
(518) 758-7224
Monday-Sunday 8 am-6 pm
PYO strawberries are $2/pound. The person we talked with on the phone today said the crop is looking "really good" right now. PYO just started this week. (Sadly, Samascott won't have cherries this year -- the warm spring/then frost killed the blossoms on the trees.)

Rensselaer County

The Berry Patch
15589 NY 22, Stephentown, NY (map)
(518) 733-1234
PYO strawberries starts June 9. The PYO strawberry patch will be open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 9 am-1 pm. "The late March and early April freezes froze most of the first blossoms before they ever came out of the plant. Because we lost those first blossoms, the season will be short! ... The season will probably be over before the end of June!"

Swartz Farm
1581 Eleanor Drive, Castleton, NY (map)
(518) 858-1174
The voicemail message didn't have info about PYO strawberries (we're waiting for a callback), but judging from their Facebook page, it looks like the season has started.

Best Berry Farm
1078 Best Road, East Greenbush, NY (map)
(518) 286-0607
The answering machine message says PYO strawberries are open for the season, 8 am-4 pm. The message says it's still a bit a early -- the crop will be better next week.

Saratoga County

Bowman Orchards
141 Sugar Hill Rd, Rexford, NY (map)
(518) 371-2042
Monday-Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 12-5
Crop is looking "very good." There's a $2/person pick your own entrance fee, and strawberries are $2.69/pound. You can bring your own containers (make sure to have them weighed when you get there) -- or you can buy them for $1 or $1.50 (depending on size).

Ariel's Farm
194 Northern Pines Road Wilton, NY 12831 (map)
(518) 584-2189
PYO strawberry season opened June 6. They're open 9 am-6 pm. Baskets and trays are available, and you can also bring your own. The message didn't include price or condition info.

Schenectady County

Horstman Farm
7 Swaggertown Rd. Scotia, NY 12302 (map)
(518) 374-7728
Friday and Saturday 9 am-6 pm
Now open for PYO strawberries. The answering machine says berries are currently "plentiful," so they'll also be open on Sunday. No info on pricing.

Buhrmaster Farm
180 Saratoga Road Route 50, Glenville, NY (map)
(518) 399-5931
Monday-Friday 9 am-6:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-6 pm
The PYO strawberry field was damaged by Irene, so there are no PYO strawberries this year. But the farms other strawberry field is OK, and they're selling strawberries at their farm stand -- $4.95/quart.

Schoharie County

Bohringer's Fruit Farm
3992 State Route 30, Middleburgh, NY (map)
(518) 827-5783
Every day 8 am-5 pm
PYO strawberries opened today (June 8). They're $3/quart. The crop looks "pretty good" right now, but will be more plentiful next week. (The berries posted on the farm's Facebook page this week are gorgeous.) Bohringer's is right in the flood plain of the Schoharie Creek -- but the person we talked with today said all the crops bounced back from last year's flooding. (They did lose a few old apple trees that had been uprooted.)

Washington County

Hand Melon Farm
533 Wilbur Avenue, Greenwich, NY -- between Schuylerville and Greenwich (map)
(518) 692-2376
Monday-Friday 8 am-6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am-5 pm
PYO strawberries opened June 2. "Bountiful picking should be expected" this weekend (June 8), with "expected peak between June 10th-20th." Pick your own strawberries are $2/pound.

____

Earlier and elsewhere:
+ Katie has a few berry picking tips.
+ And Sandra has a collected a big list of pick-you-own places, not just strawberries.

photo: Flickr user kthread

Comments

I'm on my way!

AOA you have succeded in making me hungry again with your beautiful picture of delicious food!

Grocery store strawberries cost exactly the same. Since they grow close to the ground you can't even fill up on berries in the field. Seriously, I don't see the point.

@Lu: There's a huge difference between REAL strawberries and the terrible ones in most grocery stores which taste like styrofoam in comparison. It's like night and day.

Any info on organic or low-spray?

@KM -- I don't know any organic u-pick strawberry place in the Capital District. I wish I did because strawberries are among the "Dirty Dozen" where they advise you to buy organic. I don't know about low-spray. I keep telling myself I should grow my own organic strawberry patch, but I've been u-picking at Altamont Orchard's fields for 26 years now.

Yes, that is the rub with many of the Dirty Dozen. The fruits are appealing to birds and insects so growers must use pesticides. The only organic strawberries I have found are from Driscoll's in CA and they are bred for shipping and shelf life--hence less flavorful. The locals are tasty but most, including PYO, appear to be conventional.

But I did find one!

http://www.thompsonfinch.com/

Had good picking at Altamont Orchards on Saturday!

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