Friday, March 4, 2022

Southern Hill Farms Strawberry Patch and Strawberry picking

It is a beautiful Thursday in Florida and it's the perfect time of the year to go out and pick strawberries! Strawberries are so delicious, and fresh strawberries that we pick ourselves are even better! 

Just up the street from our RV Park is Southern Hill Farms. They've got all sorts fruits and veggies like pumpkins, peaches, blueberries, and sunflowers, but our real goal today are the strawberries! 

Just off Highway 27, and down a dirt road is Southern Hill Farms. Actually it's about 6 miles of dirt road, which was actually pretty fun driving in the truck. 

The farm opens at 11am for U-pick, and we were right there at 11am. There was plenty of parking and we were among the first. There's no entry fee, which is a plus. You just have to pay for the product that you pick. 

We might be back in a few weeks for the blueberry picking too. 

This way to the strawberry fields!

At the fields, there looked to be a school group that had just come back from the sunflower fields. We met up with the guy in the white tent and got our own box to put strawberries in. We also went over the rules, like "use two hands to pick the berries" and "no eating berries in the field". 

Field one had a few people already picking berries. 

We were also told not to pick the onions at the edges of the fields. These are called strawberry onions, and they help protect the fields from aphids. 

I was hoping they might taste like strawberries, but a quick google search said they didn't. Bummer. 

Well Field 1 already has people picking in it, and I'm sure a lot of people pick from here. Let's go a little further to a place where people aren't and see what we can find over there!

Field 2 had a sign on it that said it was closed, so we continued onwards. Past Field 3 and over to Field 4. There's no one here, so let's get picking!

We found a few strawberries here and there. What we're really enjoying is the beautiful day. It's 79 degrees and amazingly blue sunny skies. There's a light breeze, and the air is filled with strawberry perfume. The fragrance is wonderful here. 

That looks like a great one Ian! Very bright red!

We walked up and down the rows, looking for any berries that stood out. 

The bees are having a good day here too. Strawberries start out as flowers, and four to six weeks later they turn into berries. 

After all of us picked for 10 minutes or so, we had a single half-layer of strawberries. That's not nearly enough for us. One of the workers came over in a golf cart, waved us down, and said that these fields were actually closed. Over the last few days, they've had their workers picking these fields clean for strawberries to sell retail. Ah, that's why we haven't had much success here. He suggested we return to Field 1 where the berries are more plentiful. 

Ah, that's more like it! Look at all those ripe red strawberries. 

These look really good. 

The kids were busy picking and handing them to Aunt Rita. 

In just a few minutes our box is filled a few layers deep with strawberries. 

Those look delicious!

We stopped by the registers on the way out. Having picked just over 7 pounds, at $4 a pound, our total was $28.68. 

After stopping by the Southern Hill Bakery for a few strawberry treats (future post), the kids enjoyed the games and playground that are free to enjoy. 

I'm sure on the weekends this place is crowded, but today it wasn't bad. I love that it's covered and shaded too. 

How about a race! One on top of the tunnel, and one on the inside. 

The person on top has to keep their balance all the way across. The person inside the tube has to duck down to fit, and won't be able to run like normal. Who will win? 

Greetings to all the family who are freezing in Colorado and Michigan!

These strawberries are going to be delicious, and we've got lots of plans for them over the next few days! We had a great time picking strawberries here. We'll definitely be back to the Southern Hill Farms!

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, couldn't ask for a more beautiful day for picking strawberries...such blue, cloudless skies, a slight breeze, warm sunshine, and smelling strawberries in the air!! Those strawberries are looking delicious in the picture. The strawberries in Field 1 were literally hanging out the sides, just begging to be picked. Interesting tidbit on the strawberry onion's role against aphids. Running inside the tunnel reminds me of the "running the rails" this where it all began? A smile and a chuckle over the "Greetings to freezing family members in Colorado & Michigan" photo...Florida snowmen that don't melt in sunny, 79 deg weather :-) What a fun outing! EOM