This time of year is when the Garden State really starts to shine. Jersey Fresh strawberries are the perfect way to kick off summer (unofficially) in NJ. The pick-your-own season is pretty quick and just about here — so here's some great places for family fun. There's even a Jersey strawberry festival to check out.

Feel free to share your favorite spots and family picking fun photos, by tweeting me @ProudJersey and at @NJ1015!

Sparacio Farms (Bridgeton)

There's already berries for buying at Sparacio Farms. The Cumberland County family-owned farm is hoping the weather will cooperate, to start its seasonal  u-pick program this weekend. Conditions are ever changing- so call before you visit: 856-451-4142.

The McCann Farm (Elk Township)

As you can see from the photo above, a bit more time is needed for some Jersey Fresh strawberries, including at the McCann Farm in Gloucester County. U-pick strawberries will start at the end of May. Call for more info at 856-881-7775.

The family farm also offers plenty of other fresh produce throughout the season- like tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, watermelons, blueberries and more.

Johnson's Farm (Medford)

Johnson’s Farm is one of the largest pick-your-own farms in South Jersey. As the owners put it, acres of orchards and fields of fruits and vegetables "yearning to be picked." Strawberries are just the start of a busy and full season, with lots of family friendly activities.

Russo's Orchard Lane Farm (Chesterfield)

The Burlington County family farm kicks off its full U-Pick calendar with strawberries from roughly mid-May to June. Call ahead for availability and field conditions, 609-259-3684.

Then in July, there's raspberries and blackberries, followed by peaches and nectarines in August. (Apples and even Christmas trees are in store for fall and winter.)

Phillips Farm (Milford)

Strawberries begin in mid to late May at Phillips Farm in Milford, so just about there!
Then, it's blueberries and black raspberries from late June through mid-July; blackberry and peaches begin mid-July. Red raspberries are in season from August through September- just as apple season picks up.

The Hunterdon County spot along the Delaware River is open daily for U-Pick except Tuesdays. Call (908) 995-0022 to check on conditions and other details.

Peterson Farm (Flemington)

Strawberries are in bloom at Peterson Farm in Flemington and those interested can even sign up for their email list dedicated to the short season. The farm even offers tips for first-timers, like be sure to put them in the fridge right away- and saving your picking tray for return trips.

You can call ahead to plan out a visit, 908-782-0707.

Giamarese Farm & Orchards (East Brunswick)

A family-owned farm since 1941, Giamarese is open now through December. The strawberry season is roughly Memorial Day through Father's Day — you can call the Farm Market to double-check at -732-821-9494.

Giamarese also offers peaches (July through September), nectarines (late summer) and apples, pumpkins and Christmas trees later in the year.

VonThun Farms (Monmouth Junction)

VonThun Farms is in Middlesex County (the Monmouth Junction part of South Brunswick). Strawberry season is from mid-May through mid-June, and once underway, it's offered daily. Call 732-329-8656 to check on availability.

There's also other produce and live animals to enjoy, and the place gets hopping in the fall too with U-pick apples and hayrides.

Hallock's U-Pick Farm (New Egypt)

The Ocean County spot offers 7-day a week picking, once strawberry season gets underway. You can call to check on how the crop's making out, at 609-758-8847. Hallock's U-Pick Farm also offers lots of fresh vegetables, to keep the family eating healthy all summer-long.

Battleview Orchards (Freehold)

The strawberries are ripening up at Battleview Orchards in Freehold. Good thing there's plenty to shop for in the Country Store, which is fully stocked and open year-round.  Call for updates at (732) 462-0756.

The location also offers U-pick cherries, peaches and nectarines — and gets bustling with apples and pumpkins in the fall.

Lee Turkey Farm (East Windsor)

Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor is hoping for strawberries by the end of May. You can check on conditions by calling 609-448-0629. In June and July, there's also U-Pick
cherries, raspberries, peaches and melons.

The growing season runs through to fall, with apples and pears. Plus year-round- there's oven-ready whole turkeys and pies for purchase.

Melick's Town Farm (Oldwick for strawberries)

Strawberries are expected to be ready heading into Memorial Day weekend at Melick's Town Farm in Oldwick. You can check with the farm by calling 908-439-2318. Once picking is underway, hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, during the summer.

The Oldwick farm also offers flower picking, while the Califon spot offers fresh peaches and pears later in the summer. Melick's also is a must for apple picking and fall goodies (there's even a new hard cider that's caught my eye!)

Terhune Orchards (Princeton)

Strawberries are expected in late May at this busy spot in Princeton. With more than 40 crops, roughly half of the farm is devoted to orchards. That includes lots of apples, peaches and pears — plus blackberries, cherries and blueberries.

Picking hours at Terhune Orchards are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Call 609-924-2310 for more details. Terhune also offers a vineyard and winery, with a tasting room at the Princeton barn.

Sussex County Strawberry Farm (Andover)

Sussex County Strawberry Farm pretty much says it by name — you can call (973) 579-5055 to see how this year's crop is doing.

The property also offers raspberry picking in late summer.

Donaldson Farms (Hackettstown)

This year's strawberry crop is said to be coming along nicely at the family-run farm in Warren County. Donaldson Farms features hundreds of acres of fresh fruits and vegetables, including U-pick berries, and apples and pumpkins. Call (908) 852-9122 to check on availability and conditions.

Alstede Farms (Chester)

Alstede is a popular spot in Morris County. The farm offers a lengthy range of fruit and vegetables, kicking off strong with a Strawberry festival every weekend in June. Before that, there's family fun every weekend in May with pony rides, a moon bounce, a wagon train ride and more. You can call 908-879-7189 to see how the strawberries are growing.

There's also blueberries, peaches, melons and more throughout the summer and fall. Alstede Farms is open daily.

New Jersey really does have it all, as U-pick options gear up fast through the summer with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and more fruit and veggies. I've got you covered with a bunch more places for another day.

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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