Sweet Berry Farm opens on Sunday, March 6 for the 2016 season! According to the Texas Hill Country farm’s Facebook page, this year’s berries are huge, sweet and juicy. Make plans to head to Marble Falls this spring to pick your own strawberries!
Picking your own berries at Sweet Berry Farm is a classic Austin springtime tradition. It’s quite a trek out to Marble Falls, so it’s nice to plan ahead as much as you can. Here are a few tips to help with your planning!
10 Tips for Strawberry Picking at Sweet Berry Farm
Bring your camera
The rows of strawberries make a pretty background, and kids look adorable bending over with a basket full of berries (or with juice dripping down their cheeks!). Also, allow time to stop along the way to take bluebonnet pictures. During much of strawberry season there are phenomenal roadside wildflowers leading up to the farm.
Don’t go on a Wednesday
The farm is closed every Wednesday. I made that mistake one year and was not happy to have wasted all that gas and time!
Strollers are tricky in the strawberry patch
Wagons work well, though! If you have a baby, I have found that a back carrier seems to work best (a front carrier left me with a juicy baby!).
It’s easy to overspend on strawberries
The first time I went, I made the mistake of assuming that it would be cheaper to pick them myself than to buy strawberries at the grocery store. In reality, it costs a little more to pick your own, but you end up with fresher, juicier berries. Be aware though that the cost adds up quickly when you fill your basket.
No need to bring extra containers for the berries
The farm provides their own baskets and requires them to be used at check out. Picking containers are 50¢.
Pack a picnic lunch
There is a lovely place to eat on the picnic tables over by the goat pen. It has plenty of shade, and the goats provide entertainment. Children have fun picking grass to feed the goats through the fence openings. There are ice cream, strawberry popsicles, and drinks for sale, but no other lunch items are sold by the farm in the spring. Don’t plan on eating a lot of strawberries while you pick, as the farm discourages it.
Make sure to walk along the back of the farm and visit the horses
Head over to say hello and give their heads a pat.
Bring cash or checks
The farm does not accept credit cards. I forgot cash one year and had to use the ATM at the farm which, of course, cost me extra in fees.
Weekday mornings are a great time to visit
Weekends are popular, so if you visit then you may find bigger crowds and picked-over strawberry fields. In the mornings on weekdays (except Wednesday!) are usually the best time to visit.
Wear play clothes
There is lots of room for kids to run and play , but the farm tends to be dusty (and sometimes muddy). My kids have come home absolutely filthy the past few years. Closed toe shoes are also recommended.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Sunday; Closed all Wednesdays. Sweet Berry Farm is open March through mid-May for strawberry picking. The farm is open rain or shine.
Price: Admission and parking are free. Strawberries are $2.89 per pound and blackberries are $3.25 per pound. (Blackberries will be available for picking in May.) This price will remain constant through the 2016 season. The picking boxes cost 50¢ each and hold up to 8 pounds of berries. Once you have purchased a box, you can bring that box back to the patch time and time again. There is no minimum or maximum amount of fruit you have to pick but you will be responsible for what you do pick (purchase your berries before eating them at the picnic tables).
Getting there: See here for more information (and directions, as GPS sometimes has trouble navigating here). For information on berry supply, click on the “Fresh News” Marble Falls link or visit Sweet Berry Farm’s Facebook page.
Sweet Berry Farm
1801 FM 1980
Marble Falls, Texas 78654
Katey writes about activities for families and children at Having Fun at Home.