Regional Strawberry Picking Guide

Find the best PYO Farms and Picking Tips!

By Tessa D'Ippolito, Publisher April 1, 2024

Fresh strawberry season is wrapping up for many farms in the area. Please check farms website/Facebook for picking schedule before attending. For many farms this will be the last weekend of PYO strawberries, so head out while you still can!

Kids love strawberry-picking (and eating) so bring them along to the fields. It's a special experience to actually show them how our food is grown and harvested. Helping to pick a fruit or veggie may even encourage picky kids to taste them. (Hey, whatever works!)

Here are some tips from Ellen Parlee at Parlee Farms to help make your picking experience the best for your family and for the delicate plants on the farm:

  1. Strawberries should be pinched on the stem, just above the leaves, not pulled off the plant or twisted, since this can harm the plant. This means that kids who are picking need to have a well-developed "pincer grasp". Most children have this after 12 months but may not have a strong grasp until 2 or 3. As strawberries are one of the harder crops to pick, children should always be close to their grownup to learn how to pick.

  2. Strawberry plant rows are usually 1-2 feet apart, so strollers do no fit in the rows. Unless the field is very crowded, most parents set their stroller right at the edge of the field and pick nearby with older children. Another option is to go picking with a friend, and each of you can take turns staying next to the strollers.

  3. Examine each strawberry on all sides carefully before picking. Strawberries don't ripen any further after picking, so be sure it's a good one before you pinch the stem! If there are unripe spots, leave it on the stem to continue ripening.

  4. Pick as early in the day as possible. It will be cooler for you, the sun will not be as strong, and the berries will be firmer and less squishy after a cool night. Most strawberry farms open by 8 AM. Don't forget hats, sunscreen and sunglasses on bright, sunny days!

  5. Always check the farm's website, if they have one, before heading out to see what the daily conditions are like. Sometimes picking hours are limited, or they may even close the fields for a day or two to allow more strawberries to ripen. At Parlee Farms, the website, Facebook page, and voicemail are updated every morning with current conditions and prices. Look for "Today's Farm News".

  6. A sample or two is OK but please put most of your berries in the basket! Pick-your-own farms rely on the honor system. Please put most of your fruit in the basket, pay, and then enjoy. The kitchen staff at Parlee Farms is happy to wash your berries so that you can enjoy them at the picnic tables after purchase.

  7. We love animals, but unfortunately, for food safety reasons we do not allow pets on the farm. Please leave your pets at home when visiting the farm.

Thanks to our sponsor Parlee Farms! The support of our sponsors allows us to continue to offer Macaroni KID Lowell at no cost to you! Read more about Parlee Farms below and please support local farms like Parlee Farms whenever you can!


A beautiful sunny Spring means a gorgeous and early strawberry harvest!  See the guide below for Pick-Your-Own locations and information.  Most local farm stands also have quarts of fresh strawberries, if pick-your-own isn't your thing. Be sure to scroll down for details on Local Strawberry Festivals!


Parlee's Farm, 135 Pine Hill Rd, Chelmsford. 978-256-2859
(Note: this is a different farm than Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro.)  


Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Rd, Concord. 978-254-0439
Strawberry picking began the beginning of June and is offered daily. To guarantee your spot, please purchase tickets in advance


Farmer Dave's, 437 Parker Rd, Dracut   978-454-3434  

Strawberry picking usually starts mid-June on weekends only.  Pre-picked strawberries are also available at the farm stand.


Hollis Hill Farm, 340 Marshall Rd, Fitchburg  978-696-3130

Strawberry pick-your-own begins med-June; check their Facebook page or website for the latest picking conditions. Hollis Hill Farms has live music Friday night, Saturday all day, and Sunday afternoon. Be sure to check out the Hollis Hill Strawberry Festival June 15-16 &2-23. 


Hanson's Farm, 20 Nixon Rd, Framingham  580-877-3058

Strawberry picking usually starts mid-June on weekends only, however, Hanson's Farm will not have PYO strawberries in 2023 due to last summer's drought. 


Spring Brook Farm, 2 Bruce St, Littleton  978-486-3249

The Bruce St location is separate from the Great Rd farm.  Stop in at 2 Bruce St to pick strawberries and shop fresh produce at the Barn farm stand.


Tougas Family Farm, 234 Ball St, Northborough 508-393-6406

Strawberry Season at Tougas Family Farm begins early June, and generally lasts through early July. Picking at Tougas Family Farm can be a whole day of fun!  After picking, enjoy farm fresh homemade baked goods, apple cider donuts, and ice cream at the Tougas Farm Kitchen, and then visit the barnyard to see the goats climb their mountain of stone.Plus, their barnyard, playground, and farm kitchen are great activities for young kids to enjoy.


Kimball Fruit Farm, 184 Hollis St (Rt. 122), Pepperell. 978-433-9751  

Strawberry PYO season runs mid-June through early July, with the best picking usually the latter half of June). Check their Facebook page for the latest picking conditions.  Quarts of freshly-picked fruit are already available at the farm stand.

Kimball Fruit Farm practices Integrated Pest Management which results in a reduced use of chemicals. They offer pick-your-own strawberries, raspberries and apples and have a farm stand with a wide variety of produce grown on-site.


Farmer Dave's East Street Farm Stand, 460 East St, Tewksbury   978-851-2048  

Limited strawberry picking usually starts mid-June on weekends only. Pre-picked strawberries are also available at the farm stand.


Parlee Farms, 95 Farwell Rd, Tyngsborough  978-649-3854

Pre-picked quarts are available in the farm stand.  Strawberry pick-your-own will be available in mid-June; check their Facebook page or website for the latest picking conditions.  

Do you know of another local farm that offers strawberry picking? Let us know via email!  

Local Strawberry Festivals

Thursday, June 13 from 6-8pm
73rd Strawberry Festival
First Church of Christ, Bedford

Come and enjoy the evening, celebrate the end of the school year, socialize with friends, and welcome summer. There will be live music, strawberry shortcakes, and ice cream!

Saturday, June 15 from 10am - 2pm
Strawberry Festival at Verrill Farm

Join us at the farm for a fun day including live music, hayrides, photo ops and a la carte food. $5 per person. Ages 5+ under Free (purchase online)

June 15-16 & June 22-23
Strawberry Festival at Hollis Hills Farm

There will be loads of farm-fresh strawberries for picking, vendors, live music, and specialty food and drinks! Join us for two jam-packed days of fun and good times.

Thursday, June 20th from 6 - 8 PM
First Religious Society Strawberry Festival
Carlisle, MA

Join the FRS on Thursday, June 20 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM for some fresh and delicious old-fashioned strawberry shortcake at the First Religious Society's annual Strawberry Festival!

Thanks again to Parlee Farms for keeping Macaroni KID Lowell a free resource for families!

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