If the beginning of summer on Long Island had a flavor, it would probably taste like strawberries. As June rolls around, signs on every main road on the East End point in the direction of U-Pick strawberries. It’s a quintessential mark of the season and a patiently-awaited tradition for many. Simply put, strawberry picking on Long Island is an annual must-do!
Each year, families and strawberry fans visit Long Island’s U-Pick strawberry fields in droves, eager to get their hands on the freshest, juiciest berries of the lot, and experience the distinct sweetness of just-harvested strawberries while they are at their peak. Depending on the weather, the short-lived season only lasts from late May through early July at the latest.
Like many locals, strawberry picking on Long Island has become a tradition for me. At the height of the season, Lewin Farms is an especially popular spot; from the street you can spot dozens of people lined up at the farm stand with armfuls of U-Pick strawberries destined for jam, pies, ice cream and cereal bowls.
I’ve also tried Glover Farms in Brookhaven. Watch the video below to get a peek at my visit to their strawberry fields.
When the supply is fleeting and the reward is so delicious, people are willing to put in the work for strawberries. I’ll admit, it’s hard to stop. I always find myself traveling farther and farther down the rows of bushes in search of the biggest, brightest berries I could get my hands on. And when they no longer fit in my pint, I just start eating them straight off the vine.
Bright red throughout and still warm from the sun, freshly picked strawberries taste as if they have already been marinating in sugar syrup for days. It’s almost like eating a totally different fruit from what you would find in the grocery store.
When something tastes so good naturally, it’s best to enjoy it simply. That’s Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht’s theory, farmer at Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market in Riverhead, which offers strawberry picking. After you go strawberry picking on Long Island at Garden of Eve or any of the U-Pick fields below, you can enjoy her recipe for fresh strawberries with cream when you get home.
Fresh Strawberries With Cream
Recipe provided by Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht of Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market
- Wash and hull strawberries (remove tops), cut into quarters lengthwise. Toss with a sprinkle of granulated sugar.
- Mix approximately one cup whole cream (ideally from grassfed cows) with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Whip till stiff and spoon over strawberries. Delicious!
- Eat plain, with shortbread if available, or with any fluffy vanilla flavor cake or cookie.
Strawberry Picking on Long Island: U-Pick Strawberries
Check websites and socials or call for updates on openings and hours.
Anderson Farm Stand
Condzella’s Farm Stand
Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market
Golden Earth Worm Organic Farm
Hank’s Farm Stand
May’s Farm Stand
Patty’s Berries & Bunches
Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm
Wickham’s Fruit Farm
Strawberry Picking Tips
- Strawberries with green or white coloring do not yield as much flavor and will not continue to ripen after they are picked, so look for the biggest, reddest, juiciest ones that you can find and use them as soon as possible.
- Always call the farm beforehand to make sure that their U-Pick field is ready and open when you are planning to go. Farms usually close when the weather is bad and on weekends when it is crowded they will sometimes limit supply.
- Also check the farm’s website for field rules; some require you to bring your own container, while others only allow you to use the ones that they provide. They generally charge by the pint or the pound.
- Strawberry picking on Long Island is only available for about a month, so go out and get them while you can! Not only is it a fun day out with the family, it is a great way to support local farms and gain a closer connection to the food we eat.
Make it a long weekend! Book a hotel on Long Island’s East End with AAA.
What’s your favorite place to go strawberry picking on Long Island? Let us know in the comments!