Strawberry Picking CT: Everything You Need To Know | Stanton House Inn
Harvesting at a strawberry pick your own farm in CT

Strawberry Picking CT: Everything You Need to Know

strawberry picking CT

The brief strawberry season arrives during June in Connecticut. Dozens of pick-your-own farms open their fields, and strawberry-themed festivals begin. This guide is your ticket to the best spots for fresh produce and farm-fresh ice cream. Local farms offer strawberries, jostaberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Always check the farms’ websites and social media for the latest updates on crops and weather conditions. For a delightful summer outing in New England, and an excellent reason to leave the City, visit Connecticut’s strawberry picking spots. Revel in nature, and enjoy the fruits of your labor for a juicy summer experience.

 

Ready to find the best strawberry picking in CT? Let’s get into it:

 

Quick hits

  • Connecticut boasts a rich selection of strawberry picking farms. Top picks include Jones Family Farm, Lyman Orchards, Bishop’s Orchards, and Rose’s Berry Farm. Each offers a unique experience with picking seasons typically in early summer.

  • Strawberry festivals in CT include the South Windsor and Monroe Strawberry Festivals, and Lyman Orchards Strawberry Fest. They combine fruit picking with family-friendly activities, local crafts, and entertainment.

  • Beyond strawberries, Connecticut farms offer a variety of pick-your-own fruits. Blueberries, apples, and peaches are available other parts of the season.

  Map of the best farms for strawberry picking in CT, plus strawberry festivals across the state Map design by Stanton House Inn  

Connecticut’s Berry Delights: Top Strawberry Farms in CT

A field of ripe strawberries in a Connecticut farm

Our state is celebrated for its picturesque landscapes and rich agricultural history. And Connecticut’s strawberry picking farms are summer highlights. Each farm narrates a story rich in history and tradition. All unite in a commitment to offering the freshest and most flavorsome strawberries to visitors.

 

Let’s explore some of the finest farms in Connecticut for strawberry picking and enjoying fresh strawberries.

 

Jones Family Farm

Nestled in the town of Shelton, CT, Jones Family Farm is a picturesque destination for a summer strawberry picking adventure. Renowned for its pick-your-own strawberries, the farm welcomes visitors with reservations in early June. The experience is delightful, although the strawberry picking season is brief, lasting just three to four weeks. Be sure to mark your calendars to avoid missing out on this enjoyable day at a serene family-owned farm. It’s one of the last thriving farms in Fairfield County.

 

The farm is located at 606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd, Shelton, CT 06484. We recommend calling the Farmer Jones crop line before you come to check daily picking conditions.

 

Lyman Orchards

Sunflowers just beginning to open at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield

In the scenic town of Middlefield, you’ll find Lyman Orchards, a cherished gem with over a century of commercial fruit growing under its belt. Stepping foot on to the Lyman family farm is like stepping into a day in the life of a farmer. There’s a wide variety of fruits ready for you to pick, including:

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Jostaberries

  • Peaches

  • Nectarines

  • Apples

  • Pears

 

That said, the charm of this place isn’t limited to fruit-picking. Lyman Orchards also offers an array of attractions that make your visit all the more enjoyable. Navigate through a CT corn maze, go on a hayride in late October. Or partake in their Strawberry Fest, a family-friendly event with free admission. And be sure to hit-up their farm stand for fresh vegetables, milk, corn, tomatoes, and much more.

 

Bishop’s Orchards

Tractor at Bishop's Orchards in Guilford

Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, CT, offers a quintessential pick-your-own experience at their pick your own farm. Starting in mid-June and lasting until early July, the farm invites visitors to pick their own strawberries. They carefully select varieties for optimal growth in New England soils and weather conditions.

 

The excitement extends beyond strawberry picking! Bishop’s Orchards also features a range of amenities to enhance your farm experience. Some of these include:

 

  • Enjoying a scoop of homemade ice cream at their creamery

  • Sampling wines at their winery

  • Visiting their farm market to take home a piece of Bishop’s Orchards to enjoy later

 

Rose’s Berry Farm

Located in South Glastonbury, Rose’s Berry Farm is a beloved destination for a sweet escape into nature. This farm offers acres of strawberries and other seasonal berries, ripe and ready for picking.

 

Aside from berry picking, Rose’s Berry Farm hosts charming and memorable farm events. ‘Breakfast-With-A-View’ offers guests an old-fashioned farmers’ breakfast in the picturesque farm landscape. It’s held every Sunday from the end of June, weather permitting.

 

After a day of berry picking, unwind with a family picnic on the farm. Soak in the beauty of the landscape and the joy of being together, feeling like you’re not a bot but a part of nature.

 

Strawberry Picking in Connecticut Tips and Tricks

A basket filled with freshly picked strawberries at a pick your own farm

This writer spent a summer working on a berry farm in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. And while picking your own strawberries can be a delightful afternoon, it’s a little different when you’re getting paid to do it.

 

And when an approaching rainstorm is rushing you and your team.

 

So, take it from a formerly professional strawberry picker:

 

Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.

 

Timing Your Visit

People in line to pick your own strawberries in early June

Strawberry picking season in Connecticut typically ranges from late May to the end of June. Prime time falls between early June and early July. Properly scheduling your visit is key to enjoying the most luscious, ripe berries. The best time of day for strawberry picking is early in the morning when temperatures are cooler and berries are firmer. Or try late afternoon, when the fields are less crowded and the day’s heat begins to dissipate.

 

To make the most of your strawberry picking, consider the following tips:

 

  • Visit the farms on weekdays to avoid the weekend rush and have a more serene and leisurely experience.

  • Consult the orchard’s PYO Calendar and call their Pick Line to get the most accurate and up-to-date picking times.

 

What to Wear and Bring

Woman squatting to pick strawberries in mid-June

Dressing appropriately can make a big difference in your strawberry picking experience. It’s recommended to wear:

 

  • Closed-toed shoes to protect your feet

  • Layered clothing to adjust to changing weather conditions

  • Garden gloves to protect your hands from prickly strawberry leaves.

 

Don’t forget to bring along some essential items as well. Here are some things to pack:

  • A hat and sunscreen to protect you from sunburn

  • A misting bottle for a refreshing break from the heat

  • Plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized

  • Containers to carry all the delicious strawberries you’ll be picking

 

Picking Techniques

The proper way to pick strawberries

Equipped with the right gear and timing, it’s now time to master the art of strawberry picking. When picking strawberries, look for fully ripened berries that are all red with no white or green areas. Smaller ripe strawberries are often the sweetest, so don’t overlook them.

 

To pick strawberries properly, follow these steps:

 

  1. Hold the stem above the green cap and gently twist the berry off the plant. This technique ensures the green cap remains attached and the fruit stays intact.

  2. After picking, inspect the strawberries for soft spots or mold to prevent damage, ensuring their freshness until refrigerated.

  3. Don’t forget to check the underside of leaves and lower parts of the plants; you might find some hidden gems there.

 

And just a heads-up, ripe strawberries start to rot the moment they’re detached from the stem. And that’s double once they get wet. Hence why we always had to rush to harvest them before rainstorms to store in a dry, cool place.

 

Strawberry Festivals and Events in CT

Man standing in the crowd of a strawberry festival in late June

In Connecticut, strawberry season isn’t solely about harvesting the juicy berries; it’s also a festive period! Various strawberry festivals are where the beloved fruit takes center stage amidst a range of family-friendly activities and delicious food.

 

Cheshire Strawberry Festival

Make your way to Cheshire, CT, for a celebration of strawberries under the sun! This spring festival in CT features a variety of food, live tunes, arts, crafts, and an abundance of strawberry shortcake. The event is hosted by the First Congregational Church of Cheshire and will take place from 10 AM to 4 PM.

 

South Windsor Strawberry Festival

The South Windsor Strawberry Festival, an annual delight, offers a variety of strawberry-themed treats and dishes. This culinary event features face painting, games, and live music, providing entertainment for all ages.

 

This festival is a splendid opportunity for both residents and tourists to engage with the community and celebrate the strawberry season. So, remember to mark your calendars for a fun-filled day of strawberry delights!

 

Monroe Strawberry Festival

The Monroe Strawberry Festival is another highlight of Connecticut’s strawberry season. Hosted by the Monroe Congregational Church, this annual event showcases a variety of local vendors and offers delicious treats like strawberry shortcake.

 

The two-day event also features live entertainment and a display of crafters’ work. So, come along and soak up the festive atmosphere while enjoying some of the best strawberries Connecticut has to offer.

 

Lyman Orchards Strawberry Fest

At Lyman Orchards, strawberry season is marked with the annual Strawberry Fest, a lively occasion that combines:

  • strawberry picking

  • hayrides

  • interaction with animals at the petting zoo

  • freshly-made strawberry shortcakes and ice cream sundaes

 

You can also enjoy live entertainment during the festival.

 

The Strawberry Fest at Lyman Orchards is renowned for its strawberries, offering an array of activities to savor this sweet fruit. You can pick your own, taste the homemade strawberry jam at jam-making demonstrations, and enjoy the additional attractions. One such attraction is a visit from the American Honey Queen, making the festival a highlight for strawberry enthusiasts.

 

Strawberry Park Cajun-Zydeco Festival – Preston

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of New Orleans with toe-tapping tunes straight from the heart of Cajun & Creole country in Southwest Louisiana. Don’t forget your dancing shoes because the rhythm of the bayou is impossible to ignore.

 

Southbury Strawberry Festival – Southbury

This summer festival in CT is a time to celebrate not just the strawberries, but also the vibrant live Americana and Bluegrass tunes that accompany them.

 

Indulge in a serving of homemade strawberry shortcake while boasting about your participation in one of Connecticut’s finest fairs.

 

The Southbury, Connecticut festival may be laid-back, but whether it’s the allure of those succulent berries or the irresistible strumming of a banjo, it epitomizes the essence of a classic summer festival.

 

Beyond Strawberries: Other Pick-Your-Own Fruits in CT

Blueberry picking at a Connecticut farm

Connecticut’s fruit scene extends well beyond strawberries. The state offers a rich diversity of farm-grown fruits that cater to a wide array of tastes and preferences, including:

 

  • Apples

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Blackberries

  • Cherries

  • Plums

 

From juicy blueberries to crisp apples and sweet peaches, there’s a fruit for every palate.

 

Blueberry Picking

In Connecticut, blueberry season follows the strawberry harvest. It typically starts in early July during summer in CT and lasts until early August. The peak occurs around mid-July. Visitors can enjoy picking blueberries at historical farms featuring extensive fields. These berries are not only delicious, they’re also packed with antioxidants that contribute to a healthy diet. Did you know that a well-maintained blueberry field can continue to produce fruit for an impressive 50 to 75 years? That means generations of fruitful picking. Once harvested, you can refrigerate blueberries to keep them fresh for about a week, or freeze them to retain their flavor for up to two years.

 

Apple Picking

Apple picking in late August

As the summer season wanes, apple picking emerges as a beloved annual tradition in Connecticut. The season for apples spans from late July through October. That said, an ideal harvest time is in late August for those who enjoy the crisp, autumnal air and again in late September.

 

Visitors can experience unique apple picking at family-owned CT apple orchards such as:

  • Beardsley’s Cider Mill and Orchard

  • Belltown Hill Orchards

  • Blue Jay Orchards

 

These orchards boast a variety of apple types and a rich heritage. Alongside apple picking, they provide hayrides and sell local products in their farm stores. Whether for baking, cider-making, or simply eating fresh, Connecticut’s apple orchards are ready to serve your needs.

 

Peach Picking

Picking peaches in late September in East Lyme, CT

Last but not least, peach picking is another delightful activity that you can enjoy in Connecticut. Silverman’s Farm in Easton offers a pick-your-own peaches experience.

 

Picking your own peaches brings an inexplicable sense of satisfaction. The sweet aroma of ripe peaches, the soft fuzz on the skin, and the juicy flesh make for a sensory experience that store-bought peaches just can’t match. So, why not give peach picking a try? You might just find it’s the peach of your summer!

 

More of the best ways to enjoy summer in CT

Farmers stand after you pick your own strawberries

It’s just one of the ways to stay cool in and around New York City during the summer. Looking for more ideas? Check out our full guide to things to do in the summer in Connecticut.

But for a primer, you could:

Book a farm stay somewhere in New England, or plan something a little less bucolic at one of the best bed and breakfasts in CT. You can visit the best water playgrounds for kids, or treat them to some top-notch ice cream at one of NYC’s finest shops. If you’re up for a day trip, consider spending it at one of the best beaches in and around NYC. Or enjoy a night out at one of the best drive-in theaters in or near New York!

 

Tl;dr

Connecticut’s strawberry picking farms and festivals are delightful. They’re a combination of fresh, locally-sourced produce and engaging activities. The picturesque Jones Family Farm and historic Lyman Orchards (and many more) each offer unique fruit picking. With a range of fruits to pick and a host of exciting festivals and events, there’s enjoyment for everyone in Connecticut’s dynamic fruit scene. Planning a visit to one of these farms isn’t just about indulging in fresh, delicious fruit. It’s also a way to support local businesses and sustainable farming practices—a genuinely sweet deal!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What month is best for strawberry picking?

The optimal month for strawberry picking can vary by geographic location. Typically, June is considered the best time across much of the United States. Regions in the Deep South may experience their peak season in late April and May, whereas the central parts of the country often find May and June to be the most suitable for harvesting strawberries.

 

Are strawberries in season in CT?

Yes, strawberries are in season in Connecticut from early June through early July. Enjoy the delicious fresh strawberries straight from the picking fields!

 

When can you pick blueberries in Connecticut?

You can pick blueberries in Connecticut during the blueberry season, which usually runs from early July to mid August. So, plan a visit during that time to enjoy fresh blueberries!

 

What should I wear and bring for a strawberry picking trip?

For your strawberry picking trip, be sure to wear closed-toed shoes and layered clothing for comfort. Don’t forget a hat for sun protection, containers to hold your strawberries, and plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized. Bring a cooler as well to keep your berries fresh. Have a delightful trip!

 

Are there other fruits I can pick in Connecticut apart from strawberries?

Absolutely! In Connecticut, you can also pick blueberries, apples, and peaches, among other fruits. Enjoy your fruit picking adventure!

 

Can you freeze strawberries and use them later?

Absolutely. Rinse the strawberries and let them dry on a paper towel. Place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to containers for storage. Enjoy them anytime as a quick treat.

 

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