The Ultimate Guide to Strawberry Picking Season in NJ! Best Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms in New Jersey!

Posted on: April 30th, 2021 by

It’s just about strawberry picking season in New Jersey and I am so here for it. I have always loved picking strawberries, but last year last year was a very special year for us to visit pick your own strawberry farms in New Jersey. After weeks of being stuck indoors and away from people, picking strawberries at the Sahl’s Father Son Farm was one of our first outdoor activities that we could feel safe doing while also having a wonderful time. I’m so glad that our state is doing well enough that families across New Jersey, like mine, can enjoy strawberry picking again.

Family picture at Strawberry field in New Jersey Photo credit Jersey Family Fun
This is us during one of our first pick your own strawberry experiences back in 2010.

8 Things You Need to Know BEFORE Picking Strawberries in NJ

When it comes to strawberry picking in New Jersey, I wanted you to have the BEST advice and experience so I turned to my favorite strawberry farmer, Jeremy Sahl of the Sahl’s Father Son Farm. We’ve been picking strawberries from their fields in Galloway for years. I’m so thankful Jeremy was able to answer my questions and provide our readers with some ‘berry’ good advice for strawberry picking.

Sahl Family picture at Sahl's Father Son Farm

Our experience combined with Jeremy’s advice will help ensure your family has the best experience picking strawberries in NJ.

In addition to our tips for picking strawberries and where to go for pick your own strawberries in New Jersey, I’m also sharing my Amazon affiliate links. These links will helpful you find the items you need and that I recommend quickly. We do participate in Amazon’s affiliate program. When you make a purchase using one of our links we earn a small commission.

What month is best for strawberry picking in NJ?

In South Jersey the end of May and beginning of June is the best time to pick strawberries. North Jersey usually follows the South Jersey ripening pattern by a week or two depending on the strawberry varieties.

When does the strawberry picking season generally start?

Strawberry season can start as early as the beginning of May and as late as the beginning of June. It all depends on when the soil warms up in the spring. Early spring means earlier strawberries. Generally, South Jersey strawberry season begins around the end of May.

How long does strawberry picking season last in NJ?

Again, depending on the weather, in South Jersey, strawberry season is usually 3-4 weeks long but can be as long as 6 weeks.

When are the best days and times to pick strawberries during the season?

The best time of day to pick strawberries is in the morning after the dew has had a chance to dry and before the sun gets too hot.

What do you wear strawberry picking?

Make sure you and the strawberry pickers in your family wear comfortable foot wear like sneakers or work shoes. Closed toe shoes are better because it does tend to be muddy or sandy between rows of strawberries.

If it’s sunny then a hat would be very helpful. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty or sandy.

While not needed, gardening gloves can help keep your hands from getting sticky or dirty. Here’s a few we’ve discovered on Amazon.

How much does it cost to pick your own strawberries?

Fresh picked strawberries usually go for around $3.00 a pound. One quart of strawberries is roughly 2 pounds.

Do you need to bring your own strawberry container?

Most strawberry farms have a standard size container they want guests to use for picking strawberries. You may or may not be able to bring that container home. It never hurts to come prepared with your own back up container.

That being said when we visit the Sahl’s Father Son Farm to pick strawberries we usually bring one of their containers back with us and reuse it on every visit. This cuts down on waste and generally makes things easier. The Sahls Father Son Farm has a CSA program that includes pick your own strawberries during the strawberry season.

Here are a few fun and cute containers for bringing home all those strawberries you and your family picked.

How long does it take to pick a quart of strawberries?

When the strawberry plants are in full production, it can take less than 10 minutes to fill a gallon basket. As the season progresses, it takes more time to fill a basket.

Picking strawberries at Sahls Father Son farm

4 Tips for Picking Strawberries at NJ farms

Before picking strawberries at New Jersey follow these helpful tips from Jeremy at Sahl’s Father Son Farm.

How Do You Know When A Strawberry Is Good?

Pick only fully red strawberries. You definitely don’t want strawberries that are still green but a little white on the berry is fine. Sometimes the underside of the berry that doesn’t get sun will stay white. If the bulk of the strawberry is a nice dark red, then it’s good to pick. Keep in mind that some strawberry varieties do not turn fully red even when they have reached full maturity. Ask the farmer if you are uncertain.

What’s the best way to pick strawberries from the vines?

Gently grab the stem just above the strawberry and pinch it off leaving about a half inch of stem and the hull still attached to the strawberry. If you pull the berry and leave the stem or hull on the plant, the berry becomes damaged and open to bacteria.

Damage from bruising the fruit or pulling off the hull/stem will greatly reduce the shelf life of the strawberry. Pulling off the berry without pinching may also damage the plant itself. If you yank the berry, it can pull off other berry sets that aren’t ripe yet. Pinching the stem will also save you from getting red stained fingers.

Show care to the farm

Be careful not to trample plants, but also don’t rush from one strawberry plant to the next. Clean all ripe berries off the plant before moving to the next plant. You may have to lift the leaves so see under the plant. Many times, berries go bad on the plant because they are hidden.

When a berry set goes bad, the rot can spoil the next set of berries. Strawberry plants will put out 3-4 sets per season. The cleaner we keep the plant, the more berries we can harvest from the plant and the longer we can extend our season.

It’s always a good thing to pick off any over ripe berries. You can toss them in the aisle or even feed them to our chickens or pig. This way they can’t spoil the next set and you have fun feeding the animals. I love this idea!

Come prepared

Since you or the kids might be at the same strawberry plant for a 5-10 minutes picking berries consider getting a stool that’s easy to carry. This gives you or the kids a comfortable spot to sit without feeling like you’re hunched over picking berries. Just be careful not to position the stool on top of any plants.

Here’s a few stools on Amazon that are easy to travel with.

boy holds a pint of strawberries he picked at a NJ farm.

The Best New Jersey Farms for Picking Your Own Strawberries

To date we’ve found # NJ farms that will be open for pick-your-own strawberries for 2021. If you know a farm that offers strawberry picking in NJ and is not listed here, please contact me at jenniferauer@jerseyfamilyfun.com. If you’re a strawberry farm interested in more prominent advertising with Jersey Family Fun, please contact me as well at jenniferauer@jerseyfamilyfun.com.

Best You Pick Strawberry Farms In North Jersey 

Please call the farm first, before visiting, to ensure they have strawberries available for picking. Crop yields tend to vary from day to day, and some farms do need to close for berry picking to give the plants time to rest and yield more berries.

Alstede Farms

  • 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ 07930, Morris County
  • 908-879-7189
  • www.alstedefarms.com

The Alstede farm will open for strawberry picking in the end of May. As of May 20, 2021 they were not open for strawberry picking in Chester, NJ yet.

Stony Hill Farms

  • 15 North Rd., Chester, NJ, Mercer County
  • 908-879-2908
  • www.stonyhillfarms.com

The Stony Hill farm will open for strawberry picking in Chester, NJ in June.

Sussex County Strawberry Farm

  • 565 Route 206 North, Andover, NJ 07821, Sussex County
  • 973-579-5055
  • www.sussexcountystrawberryfarm.com

The Sussex County Strawberry Farm will open for strawberry picking in Andover, NJ in June.

Peterson Family Farm

  • 438 Quakertown Road, Flemington NJ 08822, Hunterdon County
  • (908) 418-7578
  • petersonfarm.net

The Peterson Family Farm will open June 4 for strawberry picking in Flemington, NJ.

Farms View

  • 945 Black Oak Ridge Road, Wayne, NJ 07470, Passaic County
  • 973-839-1212
  • farmsview.com

Farms View will open for strawberry picking in Wayne, NJ, in mid-May.

Phillips Farms

  • 564 Milford-Warren Glen Rd Milford, NJ, Hunterdon County
  • 908.995.0022
  • www.phillipsfarms.com

Phillips Farms will open for strawberry picking in Milford, NJ, in late May or early June. As of May 20, 2021 they were not open for strawberry picking yet.

Best You Pick Strawberry Farms In Central Jersey 

Please call the farm first, before visiting, to ensure they have strawberries available for picking. Crop yields tend to vary from day to day, and some farms do need to close for berry picking to give the plants time to rest and yield more berries.

Battleview Orchards

  • 91 Wemrock Rd., Freehold, NJ 07728, Monmouth County
  • 732-462-0756
  • www.battlevieworchards.com

The Battleview Orchards is now open for strawberry picking in Freehold, NJ.

Terhune Orchards

  • 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ 08540, Mercer County
  • 609-924-2310
  • www.terhuneorchards.com

The Terhune Orchards is now open for strawberry picking in Princeton, NJ.

Lee Turkey Farm

  • 201 Hickory Corner Road, East Windsor, NJ 08520, Mercer County
  • 609-448-0629
  • www.leeturkeyfarm.com

The Lee Turkey Farm will open for strawberry picking in East Windsor, NJ in June.

Von Thun’s Country Farm

  • 519 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852, Middlesex County
  • 732-329-8656
  • vonthunfarms.com/sb.

Von Thun’s Country Farm will be open for strawberry picking in Monmouth Junction, NJ in mid-May. As of May 20, 2021 they were not open for strawberry picking yet.

Snyder’s Farm

  • 586 South Middlebush Road, Somerset, NJ 08873, Somerset County
  • 732.496.0441
  • snyders-farm.com

Snyder’s Farm will be open for strawberry picking in Somerset, NJ, on May 22.

Donaldson Farms

  • 358 Allen Road, Hackettstown, NJ 07840
  • 908-852-9122
  • donaldsonfarms.net

Donaldson Farms expects to open for strawberry picking in Hackettstown, NJ, on May 31, 2021.

Best You Pick Strawberry Farms In South Jersey 

Please call the farm first, before visiting, to ensure they have strawberries available for picking. Crop yields tend to vary from day to day, and some farms do need to close for berry picking to give the plants time to rest and yield more berries.

Sahl’s Father Son Farm

Sahl’s Father Son Farm is now open for strawberry picking in Galloway, NJ.

Teen with a bucket of pick your own strawberries at Sahls father son farm in Galloway.

Johnson’s Corner Farm

  • 133 Church St., Medford, NJ 08055, Burlington County
  • 609-654-8643
  • www.johnsonsfarm.com

The Johnson’s Corner Farm is open for strawberry picking in Medford, NJ.

Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm

  • 2691 Monmouth Rd, Jobstown, Burlington County
  • 609-353-9000
  • johnsonslocusthallfarm.com

The Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm opened for strawberry picking in Jobstown, NJ on May 21, 2021.

Specca Farms

  • 870 Jacksonville-Mt. Holly Road, Springfield Township, NJ, Burlington County
  • (609) 267-4445
  • speccafarms.com/pick-your-own

The Specca Farms is currently open for strawberry picking in Springfield Township, NJ.

Duffield’s Farm

  • 280 Chapel Heights Road, Sewell, NJ 08080, Gloucester County
  • 856-589-7090
  • www.duffieldsfarm.com

Duffield’s Farm hopes to be able to open at the end of the month for strawberry picking in Sewell, NJ.

Hallock’s U-Pick Farm

  • 38 Fischer Rd, New Egypt, NJ 08533, Ocean County
  • 609-758-8847
  • www.hallocksupick.com

Strawberry picking is now available at their location in New Egypt, NJ. Pickers are encouraged to call first to check on availability.

Walking Bird Farm

  • (609) 678-4129
  • 250 S Mannheim Ave., Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215, Atlantic County
  • www.walkingbirdfarm.com.

The Walking Bird Farm Strawberry U-Pick fields in Egg Harbor City, NJ, will be open to the public Memorial Day Weekend, OR sooner, depending on field conditions.

picked at strawberry farm in Galloway NJ

Keep them Sweet! Myths and Advice for keeping freshly picked strawberries FRESH

Strawberries don’t continue to ripen after they are picked

True. Strawberries generally don’t get more ripe once picked. However, they might darken up a bit in color.

Do not wash the berries until you are ready to use them

False. Always wash the berries as soon as possible! Then dry them on a towel before storing them in the bottom of the refrigerator (where they are least likely to partially freeze).

I (Jeremy) usually wash mine by soaking them for about 10 minutes in a mixture of one part vinegar and up to 10 parts water. The water rinses leaves and dirt off the strawberries. The vinegar will help to sterilize bacteria and fungus living on the surface of the berry. In this way, you can extend the life of your strawberries a few more days or even up to a week.

Freeze any strawberries that you will not use right away

True. But remember that the quality of the fruit will change in the freezer. Their texture softens and the juices are drawn out. Frozen strawberries are perfect for jam, jelly, syrup, smoothies, strawberry lemonade, baking, etc.

Don’t let berries sit in sun after picking

True! Berries will not continue to ripen in the sun even though their color may change somewhat darker. It is best to keep them in a cool, dry place out of the sun to extend their life as long as possible.

More tips

  • When storing your strawberries, you can place a dry paper towel at the bottom of your container to help absorb moisture and keep the berries as dry as possible.
  • Remove damaged or rotting berries from the container daily to prevent rot or the spread of disease within the container.
  • Never slice the strawberries until you are ready to eat them.
Duffields Farm Strawberry Picking in NJ Lois Louise Mongon
At Duffield’s Farm Photo Credit Lois Louise Mongon

Why are local New Jersey strawberries better than any other strawberries?

Strawberries grown for U-pick operations are juicer and sweeter than the sturdier strawberry hybrids grown hardy enough to be shipped all around the world. This is why so many people love to go to pick your own strawberry patches in New Jersey.

The short shelf life of the local strawberry is the unavoidable price of the unbeatable sweetness and texture of a locally grown strawberry. I (Jeremy) personally call strawberries nature’s candy. However, it’s important to remember that the higher juice and sugar content and tender skin of local strawberries cause them to break down more quickly than the firmer and dryer strawberries shipped over long distances to grocery stores worldwide.

Sahls Father Son Farm eating a picked strawberry
Sometimes you just can’t wait till you get home to eat a strawberry. Sweet hand-picked strawberries are so hard to resist.

NJ Strawberry Festivals are returning in 2021!

What you need to know about Strawberry Festivals in NJ

Strawberry Festivals are coming back to New Jersey this summer! If you can’t get to the farm to pick strawberries as much as you’d like to OR your berry big strawberry fans make time for one of these New Jersey strawberry festivals.

Many NJ strawberry festivals will offer free admission. Use the money you’ve saved on tickets to support local farmers and artisans. Bring cash and bank/credit cards and put some money on your Paypal account. Be open to different methods of payments as it may differ from vendor to vendor. While some may prefer cash, others may prefer an electronic payment that reduces the chance of money having to be passed back and forth.

Bring your own bags. Vendors may not be able to offer bags. Plus it’s better on the environment to use a reusable tote. If you expect to bring home baked treats, you may want to pack a cooler, with ice packs, in the car to keep everything fresh on the ride home.

While there may not be capacity limits at outdoor festivals in New Jersey still be mindful of social distancing. Be patient while in lines and put that 6 feet of space between you and the others in line.

Also don’t forget to wear your mask.

Where are the New Jersey Strawberry Festivals?

The great thing about strawberry festivals in New Jersey is that they are happening all over New Jersey! From North Jersey to South Jersey and places in between there will be strawberry festivals. In New Jersey, we’re fortunate enough to have community strawberry festivals at community locations across New Jersey AND farm-based strawberry festivals that happen at some of the NJ strawberry farms we listed above.

North Jersey Strawberry Festivals

  • Clifton Strawberry Festival
  • Strawberry Festival at Alstede Farms
  • Strawberry Festival at Donaldson Farms

Central New Jersey Strawberry Festivals

  • Cranberry Strawberry Festival at First Presbyterian Church
  • Oceanport Lion’s Club Annual Strawberry Fair
  • Strawberry Festival at Von Thun’s Country Farm Market

South Jersey Strawberry Festivals

  • Moorestown Presbyterian Church Strawberry Festival
  • Stone Harbor St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Strawberry Festival
  • West Cape May Strawberry Festival
  • Johnson’s Farm Strawberry Festival

When are the Strawberry Festivals in NJ?

Coming soon dates and more details about New Jersey Strawberry Festivals.

kids picking strawberries at Von Thun Farm in New Jersey
From the Von Thun Farm Strawberry Festival

The U Pick Strawberry Farms in NJ offer a fantastic way to spend the day outdoors with your family!

Support you local NJ strawberry farmer and keep a watch out for this year’s strawberry crop. If you blink, you might just have to wait till next year to sink you teeth into the sweetest strawberries ever picked while making the most delicious memories with your kids.

Sahls Father Son Farm eating a picked strawberry
A little silliness while picking strawberries.

Looking for more outdoor fun in New Jersey?

Visit our guide to New Jersey Outdoor Activities you can do now!

Posted in: All, Things to do in Central Jersey, Things to do in New Jersey, Things to do in North Jersey, Things to do in South Jersey

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.