Last week kicked off a delayed start to the pick-your-own strawberry season here in Connecticut. Usually those beautiful, ripe red berries can be ready as early as the first week of June. But this is New England, and you can never rely on the weather, Mother Nature, or perennial fruit.
I honestly had not given much thought to taking my 3 year old out into the strawberry fields for picking. I just could see red everywhere- red fingers, red arms, red clothes, red face. I don’t do mess well. So I just thought, eh, we’ll go some day, maybe when he’s 30.
I even put together a Guide for everyone else to go pick their own, and I still had zero interest in going myself.
But last Friday, we were on our way to Connor’s Place in Somers for some playground fun, and I saw this sign.
I looked in the back mirror at my boy, and I was like, oh what the heck, let’s do it!
And that’s how we found ourselves traveling down 9th District Road in Somers towards Scantic Valley Farm last Friday morning!
I had included Scantic Valley Farm on my PYO Strawberry Guide, but I had not actually been there yet. Besides strawberries, they also have PYO blueberries, and in the fall you can find an awesome corn maze and pumpkin patch.
The entrance to the strawberry picking was up a small dirt path, which led to a rather big open parking area in the field. It was a pretty busy picking day!
We were completely unprepared for strawberry picking, which is not my usual MO. I also dress us for the activity, bring along lots of cleaning supplies if needed, and tons of water. But I basically had flip flops on, a Dunkin iced coffee in my cupholder and a pack of baby wipes. My child was wearing a brand new outfit and sneakers. This was going to go well…
Since I had never been to Scantic Valley Farm before, I approached the little shed they had near the front of parking area looking completely clueless.
A super nice lady that was working at the farm greeted us and helped us out. Our first order of business was to grab our containers. They had the smaller quart size containers, if you just wanted to pick a little, and the huge boxes for the serious pickers. In the years past, before this little guy came into the picture, I was a serious picker and would spend an hour or more filling at least 2 to 3 of those boxes. Then I would make jam over an entire weekend. But since I had no idea how this kid would do out there, and since I was ill prepared, I decided since this was just for fun, we’d grab only two little blue buckets.
They had wagons available, and we saw a few little ones being pulled about in them.
We headed to the fields to start our picking. The fields were huge (over 4 acres!), and people were spread out all over. The farmer led us to a small area that we could pick from. It seemed like they were setting people up in different areas: to allow people space to work and to prevent picking all over. In the past, when I have picked, I learned that these farmers know what they are talking about when they give you an area to pick from! It’s always best to stay where they set you up, and not move around too much. It helps keep track of which areas have been picked, which ones may still have a lot of fruit and which areas need time to ripen!.
The farmer took some time to show my boy how to pick strawberries. She told him that the bright red berries were the best ones to choose, not the yucky green ones. It was really sweet of her to spend the time teaching him about the red strawberries- he was very interested in her lesson. And in fact, when we finished picking he was so excited to show her just how good he did. He was literally running to the shed screaming “HEY LADY, LOOK! I PICK DA RED ONES!”
I love that they had the mulch separating the plants; it made it really easy to move around and get on the ground when picking. The aisles were wide enough too that you could easily walk through the field without fear of crushing anything.
They had some great strawberries ready for picking!
This little guy had an awesome time and was so excited to be picking strawberries. He would show me where the red ones were, and then he got in there to pick them too.
We ended up filling TWO blue containers (which is way more than I ever expected, and I was so glad I asked for that second little bucket)!
We spend about 35 minutes in the fields filling up our buckets. His shorts were stained red, and so were his fingers, but he had such a great time learning how to pick strawberries. I was glad that we made this unplanned adventure.
We headed back to the shed to pay for our berries. They had scales to weigh your berries. The cost for PYO at Scantic Valley Farm was $3.25/lb if you picked under 8 lbs; or $2.75/lb if you picked over 8 lbs. They take both cash and credit cards for payment.
We had a really great time! The people working at the farm were very nice and really helpful. The farm is beautiful, well maintained and easy to pick. And the strawberries were sweet and tasty! I was told the PYO Strawberry season should continue for at least another week or two (the strawberry season, while late this year, is really plentiful).
If you decide to go pick some strawberries, make sure to call ahead for conditions, or even better, check out their Facebook page. They provide current conditions and hours. They do close if it rains, and there are times when they get over-picked and need to close for ripening. It’s important to plan ahead when you pick (unlike me, who lucked out that Friday morning!).
And if you can’t make it to Scantic Valley Farm for strawberries, remember there is always blueberry season, or the fall for their corn maze and pumpkins!
Of course, I still owed this child a trip to the playground, so off to Connor’s Place we went, red stained fingers and all!
This about sums it up…
327 9th District Road Somers, Connecticut
Monday – Friday – 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturdays – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sundays – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
See theirFacebook for an up to date schedule and picking conditions.
- Pick your own Berries, including strawberries and blueberries; Fall Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch and Hayrides
- Family friendly & toddler friendly!
- Cash or credit
- Water for sale
- Strollers can be difficult to maneuver in some areas. There are wagons that you can bring into the field, and I did see some little ones going for a ride.
- Sunny (it is a farm!)
- Wear sneakers, and dress accordingly!
- Large parking area in the fields
- Port-a-potty on site – no changing table