Samantha’s Guest Post – U-Pick Strawberry Farm Adventure!

by samantha on July 1, 2008

With lots of great sunshine this week, local strawberries are now ready! I have many wonderful memories of heading to Richmond farms as a kid to pick local strawberries and wanted to share this experience with my little niece, who’s turning 3 years old this summer.

In this world of multi-million dollar condo developments in the Lower Mainland, there seems to be only one farm in Richmond providing the U-Pick Strawberry experience – W & A Farms at 17771 Westminster Highway.  The farm has ample parking and was already quite busy when we arrived at 10am. It was also very hot in the open sun so don’t forget your hat and sunscreen!

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Strawberries cost $2 per pound, and you are encouraged to bring your own containers.  You can purchase containers there for $1 each, and they also have cold water for sale.  The price on these berries is comparable to those at supermarkets during high season.  However, the experience was rewarding and educational for us, and the strawberries tasted great!

There’s something to be said about picking something fresh off the vine and popping it into your mouth shortly after.  The strawberries were soft, ripened on the vine, and bright red and juicy inside and out.  There is certainly a difference from, for example, fruits shipped from California and ripened in a refrigerated truck or warehouse.

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Our local bounty yielded 12 pounds which cost us a total of $24.  They estimate the weight of your buckets, or you can get them weighed before getting your hands dirty.  Make sure to not get carried away!  In hindsight we bought more than we could eat.  And eat we did!  They were fresh, juicy, and delicious.  We washed them up and made strawberry smoothies, and we’ll likely freeze some for future use. They also make a really nice surprise treat for friends and family members.

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There was nothing on the signage indicating these were organic, but I did not notice any “pesticide-y” tastes.  One other note is that these strawberries are generally small to medium in size. There are the occasional larger ones but it appears that the Farm’s own berry pickers begin their work at the crack of dawn and are near the end of the field when the farm opens up to the public.  I am curious as to what the prime, larger local strawberries retail for, so I will keep my eyes open next time I’m at the market.

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We are fortunate that we can take advantage of such a yummy local harvest. Take advantage while you can!  I think buying local produce provides fresher food, supports our communities, and reduces our carbon footprint.

The Strawberry Growers Association has more information on farms in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley on their website http://www.bcstrawberries.com/FarmList.php

Details:
W & A Farms
17771 Westminster Highway, Richmond
Tel: 604-278-5667

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