pick your own strawberries

Pick-your-own strawberries at farms near Toronto open for the season this month

Pick-your-own strawberries at farms close to Toronto are actually going to happen this year and will soon start to open up for the season — albeit with safety restrictions. For example, bringing your own container to these types of farms is discouraged this year.

Reesor's, a popular destination on Elgin Mills Road East, is letting people know when they're launching their pick-your-own season through an online sign-up system. But they should be open late June to early July.

You don't have to wear a mask when picking but must do so at all times when interacting with staff, and sanitizer will be provided. Only people who have pre-purchased time slots will be given wristbands that allow them on the picking field, and no sampling is allowed.

When the season launches, you'll be able to pre-purchase a time slot 24 to 48 hours in advance, all of which are set 30 minutes apart to ensure social distancing. To decrease contact between pickers and staff, strawberries will be sold by the basket rather than by weight like they usually are at Reesor's. 

Organic Farms opens for strawberry picking on June 25, and will also only be selling strawberries by volume so staff doesn't have to weigh them.

Unlike Reesor's, which is allowing well-supervised children under three to accompany pickers for free, Downey's isn't allowing tots under three in to pick at all. A maximum of two people per household are allowed to pick strawberries there, and masks are required to enter. Downey's estimates they'll open on June 23.

Stonehaven Farms will start up their season on June 22 and will be using an online system to let people pre-purchase pick-your-own time slots a day in advance so they can ensure the number of guests is restricted and that contactless service runs smoothly.

🍓UPDATE~ We are OPEN for L I G H T picking today. Our berries were ready a few days earlier than we expected & the colder evenings slowed them down just a tad..We will have strawberries available for purchase in the farm store & light picking for PYO in the fields. •You’ve seen one of these photos before & we’ve added another...Keep an eye out 👀 for these two pictures as you walk to & from the fields. They’ll be guiding you! ➡️⬆️⬅️⬇️ •Our fields are an easy, marked 1/2 kilometre from the farm store & wagon rides are available for persons with limited mobility. 🚜 (NO EXCEPTIONS.) •The Farm trails are a bit bumpy but still suitable for strollers! 👶🏽 •ADMISSION starts today. $6.00 per person over the age of 3 & 50% off for seniors. •Baskets are available with a $1.00 DEPOSIT (provided they are returned) 🛒 •We are open 10am-5pm DAILY. 🎉 SEE YOU S O O N. ❤️😃🧡 . . . . . #pickyourown #strawberries #weareopen #online #instore #farmstore #berries #field #yummy #fresh #ripe #produce #agriculture #familyfarm #lifeonthefarm #wagonrides #andrewsfarm #andrewsscenicacres #andrewsfarmmarketandwinery #monday #happy #sunshinegoodtimes #itsavibe

A post shared by Andrews Farm Market & Winery (@andrewsscenic) on

Applewood Farm Winery is another popular spot for strawberry picking, though sadly they won't be opening to the public for the 2020 season because of the farm's layout and the necessity of wagon travel. It's all for the best though, as they'll be making wine out of all the strawberries they harvest this year to celebrate with next year.

Andrews started their pick-your-own season with strawberries on June 19, and they're even doing a strawberry fest fundraiser to raise money for a local hospital fund starting June 27. 

Lead photo by

Mick Haupt

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