The summer months bring a bounty of delicious local produce to Surrey. Buying your local fruit harvest from a local retailer or farmers market is a great way to ensure you’re buying locally, but why not take it to the next level? Get your hands dirty, quite literally, by visiting a farm and sourcing your berries directly from the plant!
Berry picking is a fun and rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by all ages! Whether you’re looking to spend time with friends and family or if you’re simply trying to enjoy fresh and locally-grown fruit, berry picking is a great way to do it! Don’t forget to bring some water, a hat (and maybe some sunscreen), and a wide container so your berries don’t get squished (if the farm you’re going to does not provide them for you)!
Tip: Always bring more containers than you think you’ll need, who knows how many you’ll want to take home!
Remember, don’t leave your berries out when you get home! The best way to keep your berries fresh is to put them in the fridge (after you have sorted through them to remove the stems, unripe, and damaged fruit) and then take them out and wash them when you are ready to eat. Another tip! Never soak your berries in water, simply lightly rinse and drain in a colander and then allow them to dry on a paper towel. Freezing them is also a great way to keep berries from perishing too quickly. Place the fruit spread apart on a cookie tray after they have been
rinsed and dried, put them in the freezer for a few good hours, and then dump them all into a plastic bag or container and you’re good to go!
Last tip: Mark the date you freeze them on your container, so you know how old they are (frozen fruit can last from 6 to 9 months!).
What’s in Season?
Berry season for “the big 4” is typically from mid-May to mid-September, but Mother Nature can be unpredictable and dates can fluctuate. It’s best to confirm directly with the farms to find out what berries are currently available.
* Strawberries – June with a second crop in late July to August.
* Raspberries – End of June to early August.
* Blueberries – July through September.
* Blackberries – Mid-July through August.
At Surrey Farms, there are succulent strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries waiting to be taken home and made into delicious jams, crumbles and fruit salads, or just eaten straight from the bowl. Bring a few buckets (one for each kind of berry!) and fill them up with delicious, antioxidant-filled fruits. Check the website under the U-Pick section to know what fruit is currently in season and how much it costs per pound to take home. Surrey Farms recommends calling ahead (their phone number is 604-574-1390) to check availability to ensure you have a perfect berry-picking day! (2 locations: 4981 King George Boulevard and 5180 152nd Street)
Owned by the Dhadda family, this local farm values quality and treats its customers like family over all else. Dhadda Farms offers 3 high-quality berries (strawberries, raspberries, and, of course, blueberries!) that you and the family can pick yourselves over the summer. On their website, they also include recipes for delicious food and drinks you can make yourself with your fresh-picked berries, like blueberry lemonade and dark chocolate raspberry pie bars (yum!). If you have questions, don’t hesitate to visit their website or call 604-723-6945 and Amrit will get back to you. (4371 184 Street)
Tri-Star Nurseries Garden Center & Florist uses natural growing processes and has both u-pick and ready-picked blueberries available from the end of June through to the end of September. Tri-Star also has an abundance of annuals, hanging baskets, shrubs, and even Christmas trees, so be sure to keep this garden center on your radar well beyond the summer!
If you want the local berries, but don’t want to do the picking, not to worry, most of the local farms and farm stores have berries available by the flat or by weight.