FishHawk Ranch residents, it’s March, and it’s strawberry season! Living in the FishHawk area means we live within minutes of some of the freshest and sweetest strawberries in the world. If you are looking for a little family fun this weekend, jump in the car, and let’s do some strawberry picking!
Here are some of the best local places to purchase strawberries, strawberry shortcakes, and U-Pick strawberries!
Berry Bay Farms – Wimauma, FL
This great farm is now open for U-Pick Strawberries 7 days a week between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. No scheduled appointments are needed. You will be greeted at the gate. For additional information visit the Bay Berry Farms website.
If interested, Bay Berry Farms has some tasty strawberry recipes for you.
5135 Bonita Drive
Wimauma, FL 33598
Phone: (813) 642-9866
Brandon Farms – Dover, FL
Brandon Farms open 7 days a week is open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Not a U-Pick location but they do specialize in Florida’s finest strawberries. They pick them fresh daily and pack them in a half-flat box (about 4 quarts) or two half-flat boxes that fit perfectly in their ventilated “tote box” which is great for traveling. They also offer jams, jellies, honey, and dressings. Brandon Farms is not only a produce stand, they also have a kitchen and outdoor picnic tables overlooking the rows of strawberries. Make sure you try out their strawberry pizza! For additional information please visit the Brandon Farms website.
3931 State Road 60
Dover, FL 33527
Phone: (813) 685-4208
Fancy Farms – Plant City, FL
Fancy Farms will be holding its eighth annual Spring Strawberry U-Pick on Saturday, March 21 from 8:30 AM. To 4:00 PM. This U-Pick will benefit the 4-H youth in the community as well as help area food banks. This is a rain or shine event, and Fancy Farms will provide containers. It costs $.50 per quart and there is no picking limit.
Fancy Farms is located at exit 25 off of Interstate 4 at the corner of Rice and County Line Rd. Fancy Farms also has a produce stand that is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM or until they are sold out!
For more information, call (813) 478-3486 or visit the Fancy Farms website.
Favorite Farms, Dover FL
Another U-Pick location, weather permitting, Favorite Farms is generally open mid to late March. I would call them at (813) 986-3949 to ensure they are open for U-Pick before heading over.
They are located at 10070 McIntosh Road, Dover, FL 33527. Feel free to visit the Favorite Farms website for additional information.
Parkesdale Market – Plant City, FL
Named “Best Drinkable Dessert” by the Food Network, the famous Strawberry Milkshake at the Parkesdale Market is a must-have! Also don’t miss out on the delicious strawberry shortcake!
The market is open 7 days a week from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM October through April and Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM during May through September. They are closed for the first two weeks of August.
It is the largest family-operated strawberry and citrus market in Florida. It harvests more than 3 million pounds of strawberries a year.
Parkesdale Market is located at 3702 W. Baker St, Plant City, FL 33563. Also, visit the great Parkesdale Market website, it has information, recipes, tips, and products you can order.
Spivey Farms – Plant City, FL
Another great U-Pick farm. The hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday-Saturday and 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday. Contact the farm before heading over as the U-Pick season is a little short. Visit the Spivey Farms website for additional details. The farm is located at 6101 County Road 39 South, Plant City, FL 33567. Call (813) 917-1756 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wish Farms – Plant City, FL
Wish Farms is one of the largest Florida Strawberry growers. It has been producing quality strawberries since 1922 and is a third-generation family-owned business. For additional information please visit the Wish Farms website.
Strawberry Preservation Tips
- Keep Refrigerated
- Only wash strawberries before eating them, washing berries and re-refrigerating them will cause them to break down.
- Freeze Extra Strawberries (cut the caps off the tops, rinse with water, allow to fully dry, place them on a cookie sheet, and place in the freezer, once completely frozen transfer them to a freezer bag and store in freezer).
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Wear a hat and bring sunscreen.
- Bring your own containers to transport.
- If you plan to spend the day, bring a cooler and 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.
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Jeff is a local FishHawk Ranch real estate expert. You will find him selling homes in Tampa Bay, Florida, and surrounding areas. Some of those areas include FishHawk, Lithia, Riverview, Valrico, Brandon, and Tampa.
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