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All You Need to Know About Long Island Strawberries

strawberryJune is Strawberry Pickin’ Month on Long Island. And for great strawberry picking opportunities, think East End.

A trip out east offers opportunities to pick fresh strawberries while supporting local farmers — even offers some organic. Strawberries are usually sold by the quart for about $3-$4, but prices may vary.

Here are some places to get your berry on:

1. Lewin Farms, 812 Sound Ave., Wading River: This family-owned and operated farm has been in business for four generations. Pick your own strawberry opportunities run from late May until June from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. There are other pick-your-own options available throughout the rest of the year including raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peaches, peppers, apples, eggplant, gourds/squash and pumpkins. They also offer a corn maze in the fall and cut your own Christmas tree opportunities in the winter. Those who work up an appetite picking can head over to the farm stand, where they offer fresh fruits and vegetables as well as sweet and roasted corn. (www.lewinfarm.com or call  631-929-4327)

2. Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck: This family farm has been in existence since 1978. It offers pick-your-own strawberry opportunities in June from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Check out their website for tips on how to make home-made strawberry jam. Additional season-specific pick-your-own options include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and apples. Other attractions include a fresh farm market from May to July, the Country Café and Bakery, barnyard adventures for the kids and award-winning wine tasting options for the adults. In the fall, expect Fall Fesitvals every weekend as well pumpkin picking and a corn maze. (www.harbesfamilyfarm.com or call 631-298-0800)

3. Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market, 4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead: Founded in 2001, this environmentally conscious farm and market offers access to organic fruits and vegetables as well as flowers. Strawberry picking began in mid-May and there is also playground access, petting zoo access and bee hive visits. They offer affordable two-hour-long farm tours in May and August. Various fruits, vegetables, roots, herbs and flowers are available at the farm stand.Classes and programs are also offered throughout the year. Their hours are Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Call for the particulars about strawberry picking hours. (www.gardenofevefarm.com or call 631-722-8777)

4. Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, 652 Peconic Bay Blvd., Jamesport: This is another family farm that offers organic, environmentally friendly produce. “U-pick organic strawberries,” started Memorial Day weekend and will run until June 23. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays. Farm tours are also offered on Saturdays at 2 p.m. throughout the strawberry picking season and include visits to see some of the farm’s rare animals. Baked goods and fresh produce can be purchased at their farm stand and farmers’ markets. (www.goldenearthworm.com or call 631-722-3302)

*Additional strawberry picking options include Anderson Farms (Riverhead), Condzella (Wading River), Densieki Farms (East Quogue), Domaleski Farms (Mattituck), Rottkamp’s Foxhollow Farm (Calverton), Wickham’s Fruit Farm (Cutchogue) and Windy Acres (Calverton).

Click here for more Farmers Markets

In addition to these fresh strawberry picking options, Long Island offers a variety of Strawberry Festivals throughout June as well:

1. Strawberry Festival at Plattduetsche Park Restaurant- June 6: This festival is presented by the Ladies Society of the Plattduetsche retirement home and will feature strawberry shortcake, entertainment, prizes, refreshments and more. The festival begins at 1:30 p.m. at 1132 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square and tickets cost $8. Tickets may be purchased in advance.

2. 5th Annual Strawberry Festival at Our Lady of Consolation- June 9: This festival is sponsored by Our Lady of Consolation Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center and will take place from 1-4 p.m at 111 Beach Dr., West Islip. Guests will enjoy a variety of craft vendors, musical entertainment and children’s activities such as a petting zoo and face painting. Strawberry desserts will also be offered. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children between ages 5 and 12 and free for children under 5. The rain date is June 10.

3. Strawberry Festival at Trinity Evangelical Church- June 9: This festival will offer strawberries treats such as strawberry shortcake, games, vendors and other activities. Admission is free and the event goes from 10-3 p.m. at 716 Route 25A, Rocky Point.

4. 58th Annual Mattituck Lion’s Club Strawberry Festival- June 14- 17: Mattituck Lion’s Club celebrates the peak of the strawberry harvest season with four days of strawberry filled fun. Available farm-fresh strawberry-themed foods include strawberry shortcake, daiquiris, pie, chocolate-covered strawberries and a whole lot more. Other festival foods are also available such as gyros, pizza, funnel cake and roasted corn. The festival also offers rides, various art and craft vendors and live musical entertainment. Also look out for the crowning of the Strawberry Queen and fireworks in the evening. Events will take place on Thurday from 5-10 p.m., Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.- 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Entrance fees are $5 for adults and $2 for kids under 12. Once price ride bracelets are $25. All proceeds go toward local non-profit organizations on the North Fork. The festival will take place at 1175 Route 48, Mattituck.

4. Benners Farm Strawberry Fair Weekend- June 9-10: This friendly farm will provide a weekend of strawberry-themed fun for the whole family. Fresh strawberries will be made into strawberry shortcake, home-made jam, chocolate-covered strawberries, and finally hand made strawberry ice cream, which kids are invited to help make. Children are also invited to hold baby animals, feed lambs and goats and visit an amazingly large pig. Live musical entertainment will also be offered on the outdoor stage as weather permits. Entrance fees are $7 for adults and $6 for children under 12. The farm is located at 56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., East Setauket.

5. Strawberry Festival at Old Grace Church- June 16: This festival is being presented by the Historical Society of the Massapequas and will feature food made with fresh strawberries, live musical entertainment, craft vendors, tours, children’s activities such as face painting and more. It goes from 10- 4 p.m. and admission is free. The church is located at Merrick Road & Cedar Shore Drive, Massapequa. The rain date for this event is June 17.

6. Strawberry Festival and Yardsale at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church- June 16: This festival will feature strawberry-based foods, a community yard sale, a bake sale and live musical entertainment. It will take place from 9- 4 p.m. and admission is free. The rain date for this event is June 23. The church is located at 29 Brooksite Dr., Smithtown.

Click here for more strawberry festivals

Click here for a complete guide to Long Island summer 2012 events

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