Visit: Alstede Farms, Chester, NJ {Summer Bucket List}

by Cate on June 18, 2014

Big open fields, the freshest strawberries imaginable … let’s visit a farm in Chester for strawberry picking.

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“Mom, those aren’t really strawberry picking shoes,” Nick said as he looked at my feet.

I looked down at my (now) very dusty shoes and, of course, he was right.

But we were in the middle of a hike out to the large strawberry patches to pick our own, and there was no turning back.

Of course choosing to go strawberry picking in the middle of big open fields (read: no shade) on a 93 degree afternoon probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I’d like to think it made our strawberry picking much more efficient.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Although we have gone apple picking many times over the years, we have, surprisingly, never gone strawberry picking, which is how it ended up one of the items on our Summer Bucket List.

We ended up going to Alstede Farms in Chester, easy to get to and only about half an hour from our house. Although it is a frequent destination for area school field trips, I had never been there prior to this year, and I’ve now gone twice in the last month (Madeline had a field trip there a few weeks ago).

We pulled into the dusty, gravel parking lot, parked our car, and headed over to the shack to pay for our admission. Five dollars per person to go picking. With your admission, you will each get a ticket good for two dollars off your strawberry purchases, which are weighed and paid for separately when you’re done, so that makes it a good deal. The strawberries are $3.39 a pound, and then less your discount, so a fun adventure, cheaper than your local grocery store, and access to fresher than fresh strawberries.

In other words, a good time.

After we paid our admission, and then paid for the baskets (you can bring your own and avoid the extra cost, but it’s really cheap), we headed out to the fields, following the signs along the way. We walked and walked and walked. I am terrible with distance, but it was probably about half a mile one way, leaning more towards three-quarters of a mile. Quite the hike. During busier times, there is a hay wagon you can catch a ride on (and get a farm tour while on it), but not when we were there.

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So we sucked it up. All in the name of good exercise and fresh air.

We spent close to an hour in the fields, carefully choosing the ripest and reddest strawberries possible, and now the kids know exactly what to look for in the perfect strawberry. We picked enough for snacking for ourselves, to freeze some for smoothies, to share with neighbors and two teachers, and to bake a batch of our favorite Strawberry Bread.

Which means we ended up with six pounds of strawberries.

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Definitely a fun afternoon. Beyond the pick-your-own strawberries, Alstede’s also has some farm animals for petting, a small snack stand, fresh produce for sale, and more. If you happen to be in the area or reasonable driving distance, it’s worth checking out. And it’s very close to the Long Valley Creamery, making for a fun and full afternoon of outdoor adventures.

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Alstede Farms
84 County Road 513
Chester, NJ 07930
(908) 879-7189

Hungry for more New Jersey adventures?
Followed my Day Trip-themed Pinterest board right here.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne June 19, 2014 at 6:59 am

I didn’t realize we could get local strawberries this close to home! Hmmm might have to plan a weekend trip out there…
Joanne recently posted..Homemade Quick-Pickled Jalapenos on Hard-Boiled Eggs

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Jennifer Simon June 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Thank you Sweetnicks (Cate) for this very nice review! We are so glad you enjoyed yourselves. Check out our website because a couple of years ago we opened ALL of our fields for picking which means raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apples, tomatoes, corn, peppers, beans lettuce etc. etc.! We also have pancake breakfasts associated with each fruit, a Blueberry Festival, a Peach Festival, Giant Corn maze and tons more. If you are a fruit and veggie lover, check out our CSA (communicated supported agriculture) program – http://alstedefarms.com/highlands-harvest-csa/what-is-highlands-harvest-csa-club/

We can’t wait to see you back at the farm!

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patsy June 20, 2014 at 7:24 pm

We haven’t been there in a couple of years, but it was a fun trip when we went! Looks like it’s high season and we need to get it on our schedule soon!
patsy recently posted..{Recipe} Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells

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