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U-pick strawberry fields opening with coronavirus precautions

Be prepared to follow safety and distancing guidelines and call before you show up.

A traditional and delicious part of Western Washington’s June life will continue this year. Many local u-pick farms will be opening – with safety precautions.

June means local strawberries followed by raspberries, blueberries and finally blackberries. Visiting a u-pick farm is a fun – and cost-effective – way to enjoy our luscious local berries during their super-short summer season.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Since weather, heavy picking traffic or other events may close fields for a day or more, always check if the fields will be open before you go! A few have updated information on their websites or on Facebook, but for many that means you have to call ahead.

Morning is an ideal time to pick. The weather’s cooler, and the fields haven’t yet been depleted of ripe fruit.

Be prepared to follow safety guidelines, including maintaining social distancing from other groups.

Most u-picks are cash or check only, so be prepared. Prices generally range from $1.25 to $2.50 per pound.

Some farms are certified organic, some follow organic practices without being certified, and others take a conventional approach. If you want to know what a farm’s growing practices are, just ask.

Kids are welcome, but most farms do not allow dogs.

You’ll be out in the sun, crouching and kneeling in the dirt or mud while handling stain-inducing fruit, so dress everyone accordingly. Pack hats, sunscreen, wet wipes, snacks and plenty of water. A change of clothes and shoes is a good idea, too.

There’s no need to bring your own containers; farms will have low cardboard boxes set inside special carriers ready for you to fill.

And maybe celebrate your summer bounty by making a Strawberry Chiffon Pie with Vanilla Crumb Crust from Kate Lebo’s book “Pie School”!

Here’s a list of nearby farms that plan June strawberry u-picks. For more farm ideas, check out the Tilth Alliance’s online Farm Guide.

Eastside

Harvold Berry Farm32325 NE 55th Street, Carnation. 425-333-4185. Closed Sundays.

Remlinger Farms, expect to open their fields in mid-June. 32610 NE 32nd St, Carnation. 425-333-4135.

North

Bailey Family Farm, 12706 Springhetti Rd, Snohomish. (360) 568-8826.

Biringer Farm, 21412 59th Ave NE, Arlington. 425-259-0255.

Bolles Organic Berry Farm, 17930 Tualco Loop Road, Monroe. 360-805-1980.

Schuh Farms, 15565 WA-536, Mt. Vernon. 360-424-6982.

South

Duris Farm, 6012 44th St E Puyallup, 253-922-7635.

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