For the last few years, the SACG gardeners have taken a road trip to pick strawberries at local U-Pick farms in Central Ohio. We grow our own strawberries at the SACG, but the neighborhood kids are pretty good at scavenging them for snacks throughout the week and we cannot harvest enough to make jam or pies. As usual, I've called around to get the most recent price for picking your own strawberries (which are usually on sale for $2.50/pound at your local Krogers).
a. Hann Farms 4600 Lockbourne Road has u-pick strawberries $1.50/pound (a penny increase over last year). This is the closest u-pick farm to Bexley, but the trip there is a little tricky (through an industrial district in Obetz, etc.). Beth and I picked strawberries there a few years ago and it was depressing to see how many of the berries were rotting in the field. Beth made a strawberry pie with them. You can pick 10-6 Monday through Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday. I was warned that the fields are very wet this year. You must pay with cash or check. Call 491-0812 for more information. [Editor's Note: It's not too wet. It took a while to pick 13 pounds of ripe strawberries, but there were very few rotten ones. Today is the perfect day to pick because it's cool and not too sunny. On the downside, I drove around for a while trying to find this place.]
b. Schact Farms, 5950 Shannon Road in Canal Winchester, $1.99/pound (nine cents more than last year). This is the next closest to Bexley. This is where we went the last two years. They also have an extensive pumpkin patch. They accept cash, credit cards and WIC. Because of the anticipated heat wave, they are opening extra early so that we do not roast in the fields. Starting tomorrow, you can begin picking at 7 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. However, be forewarned that the Pickerington High School graduation is this Saturday morning and will be across the street. Call 833-1932 for more information.
c. Jacquenmin Farm, (between Plain City and Dublin), $1.9/pound (a 5% increase over last year). I visited here three years ago with my nieces and it is very quaint and very close to Dublin and Sports Ohio. They have a nice system of having you leave a flag where you left off so that the next person knows where to start picking. They've just opened for the season. They are opened 8-5. Call 873-5725 for more information.
d. Doran Farms, 5462 Babbitt Rd. New Albany, $1.69/pound (same price as last year). I've never been there, but have heard good things about it. They are opening tomorrow. They will be open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day until the strawberries are gone. Call 855-3885 for more information.
e. Circle S Farm, 9015 London-Groveport Rd west of Grove City. They will not be opening for u-pick for another few days (at least). I went here a few years ago with my niece and it's a nice, large farm, but is way, way out in the country.
Last year, strawberry season lasted until Mid-June.