When you see baskets of the vibrantly delicious, bright red strawberry at the market, you know summer is officially here.
Packed with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants, Ontario strawberries aren’t just bursting with flavour, they’re also highly nutritious.
Of course, the fresher, the better; and you can’t get any fresher than taking a juicy bite of a freshly-picked strawberry right from the patch. Thankfully, the Golden Horseshoe is packed with fresh strawberries and pick-your-own (PYO) farms.
For many in Southern Ontario, visiting a PYO strawberry farm is the source of some of summer’s fondest (and sweetest) memories, so we’ve put together a list below of farms across the Golden Horseshoe that are offering PYO strawberries this year, just in time for the season’s start.
Strawberries are generally in season from mid/late June to early/mid July, depending on the season & weather.
Reesor’s Farm Market in Markham is now picking berries for their farm market and their year-round town market, Reesor’s Market & Bakery in Stouffville, with their PYO starting very soon.
“We expect that our pick your own fields will open June 22, but that could change according to weather conditions,” Susan Reesor tells us.
Jay Reesor, the owner of Reesor’s Farm Market, and his nephew Grahame Taylor, are the farmers behind the scenes growing strawberries, sweet corn, pumpkins and other crops on the northern edge of Markham.
“It is looking like it will be an excellent year for strawberries,” says Jay, who has been growing strawberries at this location since 1985.
Grahame adds on that it’s hard to leave the strawberry fields once you start to have “just a taste”.
Before you head to your local strawberry patch, Reesor’s has offered a picking tip: make a gentle break and twist off the stem of the strawberry so that it stays attached to the berry like the one on the left (see photo to right). This will keep the berry fresher and prevent water from going into the berries when you wash them. Wash the berries just before you’re going to eat or preserve them.
So indulge in the nutritious summer flavours that Ontario has to offer, and find a PYO strawberry farm near you below!
Of course, there are more pick-your-own farms spread out into the Greater Golden Horseshoe and beyond. To search further, explore the great GreenbeltFresh tool. If you aren’t necessarily looking for a pick-your-own farm, there’s plenty of ready-picked options across the Golden Horseshoe too!
Interested to learn more about the strawberry growing season? Check out this in-the-field video from farmer Andrew Campbell’s Dinner Starts Here video series, where he visits the Heeman’s strawberry farm near London, Ontario: