From mid-December until mid-April, Central Floridians are spoiled with the sweet, sun-kissed deliciousness of fresh, local strawberries. More than three-quarters of the nation’s midwinter strawberries come from our area, mostly from Plant City, home to the Florida Strawberry Festival, which in 2016 will be from March 3-13. From picking them yourself to simply enjoying them on a salad at a local eatery, here are our tips for getting the most out Florida’s strawberry season
Where to Pick
Oak Haven Farms & Winery
Besides DIY strawberry picking on select days throughout the week, Oak Haven Farm in Sorrento features a country kitchen churning out freshly made strawberry milkshakes and delicious strawberry shortcake. You’ll also find a playground for the kiddies and wine tastings of the farm’s berry vino for the grown ups. It’s best to call before coming; call 352-735-1996 to hear a recorded message.
This no frills farm in Oviedo is a family favorite. Be sure to call ahead to listen to the recorded message about picking days, and avoid the disappointment of a closed field upon arrival.
More farms to check out:
Helpful U-Pick Tips:
- Dress comfortably. Wear loose fitting clothing.
- Wear a hat or cap and bring sunscreen.
- Bring your own containers.
- If you plan to spend the day, take ice to keep berries cool.
- Select only firm ripe berries.
- Be careful not to remove the tops of the berries.
- Make an effort to pick every ripe berry on each plant rather than jumping from plant to plant and row to row.
– Credit: Florida Strawberry Growers Association