How great is it that we live right next door to the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World – Plant City! That means we have an abundance of U-Pick Strawberry farms within an hour’s drive. Strawberry picking is a GREAT family activity to do with kids. The berries grow in raised beds on the ground (unless they are hydroponic) so they are easy for kids to reach.
Don’t miss our Strawberry Picking Tips at the bottom of this post, and stay tuned for blueberry and peach U-pick guides coming later this spring. If you’re looking for fresh produce, there are also numerous Farmers Markets happening weekly around Polk County, you can find them all in our Farmers Market Guide or in our Directory.
We will do our best to keep you updated on who is currently open, however we cannot begin to keep track of ever-changing U-Pick days/hours so a website and/or Facebook page is included for each farm so you can check yourself when you plan to go. There are some farms open all season for picking (December – April), but many farms will not open until their commercial season ends, which is typically in March and is dependent on the weather. Be sure to pull up the address before you make plans, some of these farms are a 1+ hour drive from Lakeland.
Farms currently open: Oponay Farms, Pappy’s U-Pick, JG Ranch, Keel & Curley (opening 1/27), O’Brien Farms
Farms opening in late February/early March: Spivey Farms, Berry Bay Farms, Favorite Farms, Strawberry Passion Organics
Farms not opening in 2018 (berries lost due to freeze): Hunsader Farms
UPDATE 1/19/18: Recent freezing weather has temporarily suspended U-Pick at some fields. Be sure to check farm’s Facebook/website for updates.
Directory of U-Pick Strawberry Farms in Lakeland & Central FL
Map of U-Pick Strawberry Farms in Central Florida
Strawberry Picking Tips
- Check the Farm’s website or Facebook page the day before or day of your visit to confirm hours
- Pick early in the morning when it is still cool.
- Dress comfortably with closed toe shoes. You WILL be walking in dirt and you will get dirty!
- Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen – fields are in the sun. Light colored clothing is best.
- Bring your own container, not too deep. Many fields do not keep containers on site.
- Take CASH!! Many fields only accept cash.
- Strawberries do NOT ripen once picked, so be sure to select firm, ripe berries, and pick them with the leafy green top ON.
- Check under leaves as some of the best berries are hiding there.
- Berries need to be kept cool once picked, plan your day accordingly or bring ice if you aren’t taking them home immediately.
- If berries are not used immediately, refrigerate and loosely cover with paper towel or plastic wrap. Do not wash or cut tops until ready to use.