Macomb County is home to many farms and orchards – but did you know that they specialize in more than just apples, ciders and fall-themed events? Five of our hometown venues have fresh u-pick strawberries. And in my opinion, nothing beats one that is fresh from the field.
My love for fresh berries started when I was young. Every Friday starting in mid-June, my grandma would pull into our driveway at 7:30 a.m. It was early, but my family would all load into her car for our weekly adventure to pick strawberries. When I was a kid, I hated it. You could often hear me saying: “Why can’t we just go to the store and buy strawberries like normal people?” But with age, comes wisdom. By the time I was a teenager, strawberry picking was different. Still the same routine – grandma picked everyone up and we would head out to forage for a delicious flat or two of berries. But now strawberry picking had turned into who could pick more than grandma. I always found it hard keeping pace and spent most of the time just eating the fruit…3 for me, 1 for the box!
Fast forward another 15 years or so and mid-June can never come soon enough. I can’t wait to get out there and pick a flat of fresh strawberries. I use them for my morning smoothie, in homemade strawberry jam, in strawberry pie and then my favorite, strawberries with homemade angel food cake. There are so many options!
Based on my experience, I’d recommend starting your own family tradition and heading out for some fresh u-pick strawberries here in Macomb County this summer. Strawberries are usually ready for picking around Father’s Day and the season lasts for about three weeks (pending weather). Check out one or all of the strawberry fields in our area and share your favorite strawberry picking story or receipt!
- Altermatt Farms – 16470 25 Mile Rd, Macomb (586) 781-3428 http://www.altermattfarmsllc.com/
- Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill – 17985 Armada Center Rd, Armada (586) 784-5343 http://blakefarms.com/
- Blakes – Big Apple – 71485 North Ave, Armada (586) 784-9710
- Westview Orchards – 65075 Van Dyke, Washington (586) 752-3123 http://www.westvieworchards.com/
- Verellen Orchards – 63260 Van Dyke, Washington (586) 752-2989
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Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.