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

It’s just about strawberry picking season in New Jersey and I am so here for it. I have always loved picking strawberries at pick your own strawberry farms in New Jersey. I remember a few years back when everything indoor was still closed and outdoor NJ attractions were just starting to reopen. 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 can not wait to enjoy strawberry picking again.

Yummy-strawberries-picked-at-strawberry-farm-in-Galloway-NJ
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 to pick your own strawberries in New Jersey, I’m also sharing my Amazon affiliate links. These links will help 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 to the 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 footwear 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.

NJ strawberry picking

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

How much does it cost to pick your own strawberries?

Freshly picked strawberries usually go for around $4.00 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 backup 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.

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 in 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 overripe 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 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 are 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 these NJ farms that will be open for pick-your-own strawberries for 2024. Please call before visiting as weather, availability of ripe strawberries, and other factors may impact if strawberry picking is available on a particular date. If you know a farm that offers strawberry picking in NJ and is not listed here, please contact me at [email protected]. If you’re a strawberry farm interested in more prominent advertising with Jersey Family Fun, please contact me as well at [email protected].

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 in Chester 2024

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

The Alstede farm is now open for strawberry picking in Chester, NJ most days from 9 am to 4:30 pm. As of May 19, 2024 dates are available until June 16, 2024. Each person must first purchase a Pick Your Own Entry Ticket that includes a specific container. Your entry ticket includes access to our pick your own areas, a quart container or six (6)-quart flat container of your choosing to fill with strawberries, the cost of the strawberries to fill said quart or six-quart flat, scenic hay wagon rides around our farm, access to our hay pyramid and evergreen maze.

Stony Hill Farms in Chester 2024

  • 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 on June 1. As of May 19, 2024 dates are available until June 8, 2024. Picking will be available from 10 am to 5 pm. The last entry is at 4 pm. Everyone age 2 and up needs to purchase a ticket. You will not be allowed access to the field without a ticket. Each ticket includes your entry fee & one container to fill with crops. You can add on additional containers at check-in if you wish to pick more.

Peterson Family Farm in Flemington 2024

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

The Peterson Family Farm will open the first week of June for strawberry picking in Flemington, NJ. Pick your own strawberries will be available on Fridays, 2 to 5 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays 9 am to 5 pm. Entry ends an hour before closing. The Peterson family has 3 strawberry varities available. There is no entry fee charged to enter the fields. As of May 19, 2024 there is no end date listed for the 2024 season.

Ort Farms in Long Valley 2024

  • 25 Bartley Rd Long Valley, NJ, Morris County
  • (908) 876-3351
  • www.ortfarms.com

Ort Farms will open for strawberry picking in Long Valley, NJ on May 25, 2024 and will end June 16, 2024. The patch is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. There is an entrance fee and Ort Farms hosts a variety of events where families can pick strawberries.

Phillips Farms in Milford 2024

  • 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 for 2024. As of May 19, 2024, they are not yet open for strawberry picking and an opening date has not been announced. Phillips Farm is hoping to open by the end of May.

Sussex County Strawberry Farm in North Andover 2024

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

The Sussex County Strawberry Farm hopes to open for strawberry picking in Andover, NJ at the end of the first week of June 2024.

Farms View in Wayne 2024

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

Farms View is open for strawberry picking in Wayne, NJ. Pick your own strawberries is available seven days a week, weather permitting. There is an entrance fee to the strawberry fields. As of May 19, 2024 no end date for 2024 is listed.

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.

Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor 2024

  • 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 on May 22, 2024. Lee Turkey Farm will be open daily. There is an entry fee. As of May 19, 2024 an end date is not listed for the 2024 season.

Battleview Orchards in Freehold 2024

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

The Battleview Orchards has opened for strawberry picking in Freehold, NJ for 2024. There is a $5 per person entry fee to enter the strawberry patch. The patch may be closed on certain days due to poor weather conditions or the need to allow berries to ripen. They strongly encourage visitors to call before visiting. As of May 19, 2024 no end date is listed for the 2024 season.

Donaldson Farms in Hackettstown 2024

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

Donaldson Farms is open daily for strawberry picking in Hackettstown, NJ. There is no entry fee to visit the strawberry patch. As of May 19, 2024, there is no end date for the 2024 season.

Von Thun’s Country Farm in Monmouth Junction 2024

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

Von Thun’s Country Farm is open nearly daily for strawberry picking in Monmouth Junction, NJ. There is no strawberry picking on Mondays. There is an entry fee. As of May 19, 2024 they expect pick your own strawberries to be available to early June.

Terhune Orchards in Princeton 2024

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

The Terhune Orchards is open for strawberry picking in Princeton, NJ. As of May 19, 2024, the schedule for picking isn’t clear. Please check their website for more details.

Snyder’s Farm in Somerset

  • 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 25, 2024. They are primarily only open for picking Saturdays and Sundays. Occasionally they will be open midweek. There is an entrance fee to enter and pick your own strawberries. The season is expected to last 3-4 weeks.

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 in Galloway 2024

Sahl’s Father Son Farm will not be be open for Pick Your Own Strawberries for 2024, but expects to have some prepicked strawberries available for purchase. Visit their website and Facebook page for more details.

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

Walking Bird Farm in Egg Harbor City 2024

  • (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 for strawberry picking from late May to Mid June. They opened for the season on May 18, 2024. They are currently sold out but expect to open again soon with more strawberries once they ripen. There is an entrance fee to walk the fields to pick strawberries.

Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm in Jobstown 2024

  • 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 17, 2024. The dates for the 2024 season of pick your own strawberries is May 17 – June 9, 2024. There is an entrance fee to pick at the fields.

Johnson’s Corner Farm in Medford 2024

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

The Johnson’s Corner Farm will be open as of May 20, 2024 for strawberry picking in Medford, NJ. The season will run till June 2, 2024. There is an entry fee to pick at the strawberry fields.

Hallock’s U-Pick Farm in New Egypt 2024

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

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

Duffield’s Farm in Sewell

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

Duffield’s Farm hopes to be able to open soon for strawberry picking in Sewell, NJ. As of May 19, 2024, no opening date has been announced for strawberry picking.

Specca Farms in Springfield Township 2024

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

The Specca Farms is now open, Thursdays through Sundays, for strawberry picking in Springfield Township, NJ. There is an entrance fee to pick strawberries. As of May 19, 2024 the end date for the 2024 season has not been announced.

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.
  • Once your strawberries are sliced, you can store them in glass mason jars. I find they not only help the strawberries stay fresher longer, but they are really great for packing strawberries in school lunch boxes or picnic baskets.
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 2024!

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 payment as they 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. New New Jersey law prohibits many businesses from distributing plastic OR paper bags. Plus it’s better for 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.

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.

We are working to confirm if these strawberry festivals in New Jersey will occur again in 2024.

North Jersey Strawberry Festivals

Central New Jersey Strawberry Festivals

South Jersey Strawberry Festivals

When are the Strawberry Festivals in NJ?

New Jersey Strawberry Festivals will begin at the end of May and occur till mid June.

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 your 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 your 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!

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