Visit: Strawberry Picking at Ort Farms {Long Valley, New Jersey}

by Cate on June 14, 2016

June is the perfect time for strawberry picking, so we headed out in search of the perfect place this past weekend.

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There are a few farms that are reasonably close to us that offer strawberry picking for customers. A few of them I avoid because they have turned into a three-ring-circus and have the penchant for charging for everything under the sun and shuttle buses for parking.

No thank you.

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Ort Farms came up in my search, and while I have heard of them before, we haven’t visited them before, so we set our sights on checking it out this past weekend. Easy to find, especially with the Waze app, it’s a scenic, windy drive through the “country,” and plenty of parking awaited us.

The farm sits on 400 acres of land and has been there for 100 years, with six generations of family participating (their founding member has lived on the farm for 85 years!). Despite their long history, this is actually their first year to offer u-pick for strawberries.

We stopped into the little store in front to get instructions, and they gave us boxes to collect our strawberries, a small sheet of directions, and away we went.

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The weather was perfect. Clear skies, a slight breeze, and nothing but patches after patches of strawberries waiting for us to pick. I instructed the kids on what we were looking for … uniformly red, nice size, not mushy. And the farther we walked, the more paydirt we hit. There were other families there picking strawberries as well, but it wasn’t super crowded, and we had plenty of space to ourselves.

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We stopped when we had about two boxes full, and our hands smelled amazing, with the fresh strawberry scent lingering over our fingers. Even on the ride home, the smell of just-picked strawberries lingered in the car. Right up there with fresh basil and watermelon.

#smellsofsummer

The strawberries are $3.29/lb, which is perfectly reasonable. You pay for whatever you pick. No membership fee (some farms have them). No extra charges anywhere.

Pretty perfect.

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Of course we browsed in the little farm shop before checking out, and filled our basket with fresh asparagus, blueberries, just-baked cookies, tomatoes, and cheese.

No matter the season, stop in and visit Ort Farms. They’re open March 18th through December, and you can count on seasonal fruits and vegetables, CSA opportunities, and even Christmas trees.

Such a fun family activity, and now we have plenty of fresh strawberries for our smoothies, strawberry bread (recipe coming this week), and just plain noshing on.

Nothing better than enjoying fruit you picked yourself.

Ort Farms
25 Bartley Road
Long Valley NJ 07853

PS I can’t post this picture here, because it’s a panorama shot (too wide for the blog column), but this was one of my favorite shots from our visit). And this one.

Hungry for more?
Here is another farm we have visited for strawberry picking.
Have extra strawberries? Try this recipe for Balsamic Strawberries with Cherrywood Smoked Bacon over ice cream, a recipe I created for the folks at Jones Dairy Farm.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) June 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm

So, the strawberry season is much later here (it’s starting in fits and spurts) and we tried to go for early picking today but no dice — picking was over by the time we arrived (hours before it was supposed to end). Sad. Maybe next weekend. The place you found sounds great — can’t believe places around you nickel and dime like that though. Crazy!

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