PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2013 and while it should still give you a great overview of the experience, it may also contain some outdated information. Please be sure to visit their website for the most up-to-date information.
It is strawberry picking time here in Connecticut and, as usual, our weather is keeping the farmer’s on their toes. The unusual amount of rain we received last week shut down the pick-your-own activity for a few days and then things picked up once the weekend arrived and brought sunshine, Father’s Day, and lots of families looking for some juicy strawberries.
Since the OAAM crew has already been to many of the pick-your-own places (PYO) in our area, I decided to venture out a bit and check out a farm in East Lyme, Connecticut.
So, on a pretty Sunday morning, we hopped in the car and headed to Scott’s Yankee Farmer.
Now, before we finalized our destination, I first checked the farm’s Facebook page and website to see if there were any updates on the crop status. This is a very important step for anyone about to head out for any type of pick your own adventure. Check the farm’s online sites or give them a call to make sure everything is on schedule. This past weekend, for example, several farms had to stop PYO on Sunday because they had such a large crowd on Saturday. The last thing you want is to get all the kids in the car and head out somewhere only to find out times have changed or the field has been picked out. Right?
For Scott’s, strawberry picking is the first in a long list of summer PYO activities. The one difference for strawberries, though, is that the picking is NOT done at the main farm, but at a site a mile or so away. The address is 98 Chester Field Road, East Lyme, CT 06333. So make sure you plug that address into your GPS and not the main farm address.
Of course, if you are like me and put in the main farm’s address, just pop into the farm stand and someone will kindly point you in the direction of the strawberry fields. Plus you can pick up a few more treats while you are there!
The field set-up is pretty simple (which of course is perfect for anyone with kids in tow).
You will see a sign for the fields and right next to it the entrance for the parking area.
As you can see from the sign, strawberry picking is daily from 8am – noon. But, like I mentioned before, make sure you check their Facebook page for the latest information on opening times.
Once we arrived, we unloaded the kids from the car and got ourselves in order.
There is a port-a-potty located in the parking lot. Good to know if anyone needs a bathroom break.
I put Sweetheart in an ergo carrier (thanks Sarah!).
Here we are!
I would definitely recommend some type of baby carrier for any non-walker in tow (or even for some early walkers).
I will say, though, that you could feasibly bring a jogging stroller and easily get it from the car to the strawberry patch. I wouldn’t bring a regular stroller as the ground cover is gravel and dirt, but a jogging stroller would work fine. This might be a good option if you have a toddler (or two) and the walk from the car to the picking area is a little far for them. If I was doing this on my own with the twins and the baby (crazy talk), I would put the twins in my double stroller and Sweetheart in the carrier, roll them up to the strawberry patch and then go from there.
So, the first stop on our strawberry picking adventure was at the stand in the parking area. There we picked up containers for our strawberry collection.
Since the twins are two years old, I have actually found it easier for me to bring buckets for them to use. They collect the strawberries and then we add what everyone has collected to one big container.
I also put some boots on the twins and my husband and I both wore tennis shoes. It had been raining, so I thought there might be some mud. Boots always seem to be a good call when visiting a farm anyways.
Plus, Sparkles really got into it by wearing here strawberry-themed attire!
Ok, so strawberry picking vestibules in hand, we headed out to the fields. You can see that it isn’t really that long of a walk out there. The owner actually told me that they move the crops around each year. So some years they could be up closer to the stand, but this year, they were a little ways out.
We finally arrived and got busy picking.
The nice thing about this destination is that everything is in one place. After we were done picking, we just headed back to the stand in the parking lot to pay.
Now, the first challenge was to get my little munchkins to actually walk back to the parking lot. This is where a stroller might have come in handy.
Fortunately, we finally made it back. I may have had to promise a trip for some ice cream to get them moving!
We went back up to the stand and paid for our strawberries. The price was $2.90 per pound and cash and credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) were accepted.
I also took a peek at their PYO schedule.
With our purchase in hand (and a few in our mouths) we went back to the car and got ready to go. Everyone was hungry and there were some lobster rolls from Dad’s Restaurant in my future (details in a future post).
I was happy to have found Scott’s Yankee Farmer for our strawberry picking adventure. It was a nice down-by-the-shore destination and an easy outing with the three little ones. I’m looking forward to a visit to the main farm for a future PYO outing and it is nice to know that they have a farm stand with ready-to-purchase fruits and vegetables. Yum!
Strawberry Fields Address: 98 Chester Field Road, East Lyme, CT 06333
Main Farm and Stand Address: 436 Boston Post Road, East Lyme, CT 06333
Get directions here:
For the 2013 season, PYO strawberries are $2.90 per pound.
Strawberry Picking Hours (in season):
Everyday 8:00 am – noon (make sure to check their Facebook page for changes due to weather or crop availability)
Farm Stand Hours:
Everyday 9:00 am – 5:30 pm from mid-April through December 31st.
Tips & Things to Bring:
- Water for hot days. You definitely work up a thirst picking in the fields.
- Suntan lotion and hats as you will be in the sun.
- A baby carrier for non-walkers.
- A jogging stroller to get you from the car to the fields if you have a toddler who may not be able to make the whole walk.
- Cash or credit card (Visa or Mastercard) to pay for your purchase.
- Boots if it has been raining as the fields could be muddy.
- Buckets if you find they are easier for your kids to carry (though trays and containers are available at the stand.)
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