Berry Good Tips for Visiting the Pick Your Own Strawberry Farm

May 27, 2021

Days are getting longer, skies are warming, and summertime is so close we can almost taste the memory of a freshly picked strawberry.  Ahhhhh…  We are so fortunate to have berry picking in CT.  It is seriously one of the best times of year for pick your own farms, so do not let the opportunity to pick your own strawberries pass you by!   

But before you jump in the car:

  • If you can, plan to pick mid-week.  While there is usually ample elbow room in the fields, fewer mid-week pickers permit easier access to those berries you crave.
  • Call the 24Hr Hotline at 860-349-6015 for information on available varieties and conditions.  
  • Click the Events tab to see what else will be happening during your visit.
  • Check the weather and dress accordingly – we highly recommend closed-toed shoes in the fields regardless of the weather.
  • Bring sun lotion.  A gentle misting bottle helps to perk up the little ones.
  • Pack a cooler to safely store the fruits of your labor in the car for a few hours while you enjoy the other amenities at Lyman Orchards.
  • Read the procedures for PYO here.
  • Don’t forget the camera!       

At the Fields:  

  • This may sound obvious but choose the red ones.  Strawberries do not ripen after picked, so avoid pale strawberries with a green tip.
  • Sure, it’s fun to find a ginormous red strawberry, but do not pass on the smaller ripe ones; they are often the sweetest!
  • While picking, pinch the stem so that the green cap remains on the strawberry.
  • Strawberries are delicate; take care to lay them thoughtfully in your container to avoid damage.
  • Picking is the perfect time to test out your best strawberry “dad” jokes, for example:  What do you call a strawberry smashed on the road?  Traffic Jam!  Why is the strawberry sad?  Because he’s a blue berry!  Hee hee….  A quick Internet search for strawberry puns will have your fellow pickers giggling through their work.
  • Strawberries love having their picture taken!  And there are few things prettier than red strawberries against the backdrop of their greens, a blue sky, and your smiling face.

Before or after picking, take time to enjoy the rest of the Lyman Orchards property:

  • Hungry?  Visit one of our delightful dining venues:
    • The 1741 Pub and Grill at the Lyman Golf Club will satisfy your belly with appetizers, burgers, salads and more, and feed your eyes with beautiful golf course views.   
    • Quicker bites can be found at The Apple Barrel Farm Store which serves up everything from baked goods, breakfast items, salads, made-to-order deli sandwiches, and kid fare.  You can even pre-order a picnic lunch to-go.
    • The Snack Bar at the Golf Center provides a smaller menu of quick bites.
  • Hot? 
    • Indulge in a cone from the ice cream window at The Apple Barrel Farm Store.  A huge deck with picnic tables overlooking a pond is there for you to enjoy your treat.
    • The 1741 Pub and Grill can also cool you off with their menu of beers and signature cocktails.  
  • Looking for fun? 
    • Lyman Golf offers 36 holes of championship golf at the Jones and Player courses, as well as a Par 3 course at the Apple 9.  The Golf Center boasts a 20,000 square foot practice area, indoor simulators, and award-winning lessons for all skill levels.
    • Lyman Orchards hosts creative events year-round to suit a variety of interests.  Past events have included goat strolls, comedians, cookie decorating, live music, festivals, jazz brunches, trivia and much more.  A listing of upcoming events can be found here.
  • Need to pick up a few things before heading home?   
    • The Apple Barrel Farm Store is stocked with veggies for your strawberry salad, meals to go, pies (of course!), specialty items and many everyday essentials.

At home:

  • Do not wash the strawberries until you’re ready to eat or use them.  Moisture can shorten their shelf life.  We recommend storing unwashed fresh strawberries in the fridge.   
  • When ready to eat, gently rinse the strawberries with cool water and dry on a towel before taking their tops off.
  • Strawberries are a tasty treat on their own, and an ideal ingredient in many recipes including smoothies, desserts, popsicles, pancakes, salads, syrups, etc.  Click here for a few recipes we love.
  • If you picked too many strawberries to eat fresh, try freezing or canning to significantly extend their shelf life.
  • As you revisit your day, consider sharing your pictures – we’d love to see them!  Tag us on Instagram @lymanorchards
  • Last but not least, congratulate yourself for hand-picking nutritious locally-grown fruit and supporting berry picking in Connecticut.  Bravo!

Thank-you for choosing Lyman Orchards for your memory-making pick your own strawberries trip.  We can’t wait to see you!

P.s.  The picking fun continues with jostaberries, blueberries, raspberries, and peaches, so plan to visit us all summer long.  Lyman Orchards is also home to the spectacular Sunflower Maze in August – you won’t want to miss it! 

Meet The Chef

At nine years old, Ben Gaffney asked if he could work alongside his father, a chef, at Congress Rotisserie in New Haven. The elder Gaffney put the boy to work washing dishes for two years, in the hope that it would discourage his interest in the restaurant business.

But a calling is a calling. Ben Gaffney has spent his life since then pursuing the wonders of food, bringing Middlefield along for the ride as chef at Lyman Orchards since 2017.
get to know chef ben

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The Apple Barrel

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Friday-Sunday: 9:00AM-7:00PM

32 Reeds Gap Rd
Middlefield, CT 06455
Phone: 860-349-6000

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lyman golf

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Phone: 860-349-6031

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Pick your own

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