a peek inside the fishbowl

09 Jun, 2009

Strawberry picking in Ottawa

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa|Recipes and Food

Summer = fresh strawberries. Yum.

I’m researching the best U-pick strawberry farms in the Ottawa area for an upcoming article.

This photo is from last year. And it’s making me hungry.

taste of summer

We have a good place to go (near Kanata) but I know you must have your favourite places too. Care to share?

Frankly, I’m a little worried about the strawberries this year. It hasn’t been very warm and it’s been a little too wet. I have it on good authority that the 2009 strawberry-picking season is going to be delayed a bit this year. (In fact June 20th is supposed to be the “be ready to pick” date.)

So tell me, what do you do with your lovely baskets of strawberries once you get home? Make jam? Make pies? Freeze them? Or just eat them as-is?

Edited to add: check out this post about our favourite place to pick strawberries in Ottawa!

20 Responses to "Strawberry picking in Ottawa"

1 | Don

June 9th, 2009 at 11:17 am


I was griping on twitter last night about the fact that local strawberries and rhubarb are rarely both available at the same time in Ottawa, so making jam with the best of the best is difficult.

In the process, I stumbled onto the Ottawa Start web page on the subject: http://ottawastart.com/strawberry.php

That page states that we should normally expect local strawberries late June or early July. It also lists a number of local farms that supply the luscious fruits.

Ottawa Start is also asked the Ottawa twitter community to submit updates for strawberry growers to keep their list current.

As for what I plan to do with fresh strawberries this year: ice cream, jam (to go with freshly baked scones), and, of course, sliced to top custard tarts/pies.

Looking forward to your piece :)

2 | karen at virtually there

June 9th, 2009 at 11:44 am


Last year I picked at Avonmore Berry Farm (out past Casselman) and it was worth the drive. The berries were excellent, it wasn’t too busy, the prices were good and there was a play area for kids.

I always make lots of jam with the berries, eat some and then freeze some.

3 | Hellcat13

June 9th, 2009 at 11:57 am


I usually go to Ovens’ Berry Farm near Osgoode. I grew up in the area. Their website is here: http://tiny.cc/fn4GQ

I am fairly simple – I just love to eat fresh strawberries. I will usually freeze some to have in smoothies, though, and I might make a pie.

4 | Hannah

June 9th, 2009 at 12:00 pm


I live in the east end of Ottawa and usually go berry picking near Blackburn Hamlet.

I’m hoping to make pies, jam, crumbles, bread and all sorts of other stuff! I freeze them in giant tubs to make them last longer. :)

5 | Loukia

June 9th, 2009 at 12:26 pm


The best place to go berry picking is Proulx Farms in the east end. Way at the very end of Innes, actually. We love it there, and go every year. They said they were hoping it would be ready this weekend, but I think I’ll wait at least untili the 20th…


My husband also makes the best strawberry jam ever. We save a few baskest for eating, and the rest, JAM! My husband and Christos spend a great deal of time in the kitchen after we go picking and make jars and jars of jam that I love eating with toast and butter. Mmm… now I’m hungry!

6 | alison

June 9th, 2009 at 2:19 pm


It’s an annual tradition for the girls and I to go to Cedar Hill Berry Farm just past Pakenham (http://www.cedarhillberryfarm.com/home.shtml) to pick strawberries. We spend a couple of hours there eating, er, picking and then stop on the way home in Pakenham at the Scoops ice cream stand where I usually forget to order a kid’s cone and have to eat a huge, huge ‘single’ scoop of ice cream (a tough job, I tell ya). We take our cones down to the park below the stone bridge and eat them watching the waterfall at the bridge. The girls look forward to it every year.

I usually clean/hull the berries and then freeze them whole on cookie sheets. When they’re frozen, I put them in plastic tubs (large yogurt containers) and we use them for making smoothies, fruit crisps and freezer jam over the winter. Yum.

7 | lizzy

June 9th, 2009 at 3:54 pm


We got to the Richmond Strawberry Farm every year. I love it there. It is a short drive, easy to get to and pick at.
When I bring home all my strawberries, we usually just eat them or freeze them. I use to do Jam, but it is such a big job, in recent years I haven’t bothered. Maybe this year, will be a good year to start the jam making again.

8 | LO

June 9th, 2009 at 4:26 pm


After picking it’s just all about strawberries! Strawberrry pie, strawberry loaf, strawberry muffins, strawberry jam, strawberry iec cream, strawberries frozen for a winter day and most importantly STRAWBERRY daiquiris!!!!!

9 | Emilie

June 9th, 2009 at 8:24 pm


For the past few years my friends and I have gone to Shouldice Farms in Nepean (on Merivale Road) on Canada Day. We pick berries for blender drinks, like daiquiris and margaritas for the evening’s party, and I usually pick extra baskets for myself to freeze for smoothies throughout the year or to make freezer jam. The picking is good, as are the berries, and it has never been so crowded that we didn’t get enough berries.

10 | Trea

June 9th, 2009 at 11:36 pm


It’s interesting how varied the weather can be in different parts of the country and how all of this affects our food. In the Lower Mainland of BC, this is what’s going on with strawberries: http://www.vancouversun.com/Life/Local+strawberry+season+about+take/1678658/story.html It’s to be a bumper crop!

I can’t wait to take my two year old out for his first pick – though I have to admit my most favourite thing is blueberry season. We’ll be eating both our blueberries and our strawberries fresh! However, I’m so pregnant I can barely touch my feet, so I need someone to pick them for me and feed them to me. Husband?

11 | Julie

June 10th, 2009 at 8:17 am


Hmmm … we are not nearly as organized! I have yet to do things with strawberries to keep them going past the season. For us, it’s always strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

12 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

June 10th, 2009 at 8:19 am


What a timely post as I’ve been starting to think about u-pick berries. Are any of these farms organic? Do the prices vary much from one farm to the next? Does it pay to shop around?

13 | andrea

June 10th, 2009 at 8:29 am


I’d venture that local U-pick berry farms are not organic. (Which is the reason I don’t let my kids eat the strawberries off the bush like I used to do as a kid.)

Prices are worth looking into for sure. Funnily enough, it’s not something I do. We go for the experience of picking more than anything else.

14 | Peter Miller

June 10th, 2009 at 11:00 am


We usually go to Rideau Pines Farm between North Gower and Richmond (they have a website). I like it there because it’s out of the way–not as exposed to traffic. They grow all sorts of stuff there. You can make a sidetrip to Richmond Bakery on the way back.

15 | twinmomplusone

June 10th, 2009 at 11:54 am


we go to Proulx Farm, like Loukia, cause its just down the street from us

16 | Kim

June 11th, 2009 at 10:04 am


I totally need to find a strawberry farm here near me! I recently found a ‘U pickit” blueberry farm but haven’t been able to find the time to visit yet.

We have some blackberry bushes that we pick beries off of daily. They are so good!

17 | Nikki

June 11th, 2009 at 11:52 am


When I lived in Kanata, we would go to Dekok farm every year to pick strawberries. It was just around the corner!

18 | Rebecca

June 14th, 2009 at 9:24 am


your picture is making me crave fresh strawberries……

19 | Ali151

July 2nd, 2009 at 9:13 am


We went this week to Purple Cow farm south of Greely. There was a bumper crop of strawberries, we picked 12L in 30 minutes! The cost was $8.50 for 4L. I’d definitely go back!

20 | Anna

April 3rd, 2011 at 6:59 pm


My sister and I worked at an amazing strawberry farm called Ceader Hill Berry Farm.

Its located in the little town of Pakenham. Just like someone mentioned above, after picking, we went to a traditionally visited icecream shop called Scoops. The farm is very beautiful, and although many people come to the farm to pick or buy berries, it is very quiet and a great change of atmosphere. We made lots of new friends at the farm, and are plannin g on going back.

We usually just eat the berries raw, make syrop, jam or smoothies out of raw or frozen berries.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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