Jersey Fresh strawberries are the perfect way to kick off summer (unofficially) in NJ. The pick-your-own season is here and it's pretty quick — here's some great places for family fun. There's even a few Jersey strawberry festivals to check out. One is the West Cape May Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 3 (the raindate is Sunday, June 4).

Three tips for happy picking: call ahead, bring cash and leave the furry family members (dogs) at home. Feel free to share your favorite spots or family picking fun photos, by tweeting me @ProudJersey and at @NJ1015!

1. The McCann Farm (Gloucester County)
1065 Aura Rd., Monroeville (part of Elk Township)

There's already berries for buying at McCann Farm in Gloucester County. U-pick strawberries have started, but call first for availability: (856) 881-7775. The family farm also offers other produce as the season progresses, like tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, watermelons, blueberries and more.

2. Sparacio Farms (Cumberland County)
690 Landis Avenue (Rt. 56), Bridgeton
(856) 451-4142
Sparacio Farms, a Cumberland County family-owned farm also has strawberries a plenty! Its seasonal u-pick program is already underway. Conditions are ever changing, so call before you visit: (856) 451-4142.

3. Johnson's Farm (Burlington County)
133 Church Rd., Medford
(609) 654-8643
Johnson’s Farm is one of the largest pick-your-own farms in South Jersey. Strawberries are the start of a full season, with lots of family friendly activities. Johnson's is running a Strawberry festival on Memorial Day weekend and the first weekend of June.

4. Russo's Orchard Lane Farm (Burlington County)
310 Extonville Rd, Chesterfield
(609) 259-3684
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. 

5. Hallock's U-Pick Farm (Ocean County)
38 Fischer Road, 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.

6. Battleview Orchards (Monmouth County)
91 Wemrock Road, Freehold
(732) 462-0756

The strawberries have been flying at Battleview Orchards in Freehold. There's also plenty to shop for in the Country Store, which is fully stocked and open year-round.  Call ahead at (732) 462-0756. The location also offers U-pick cherries, peaches and nectarines.

7. Wemrock Orchards (Monmouth County)
Hwy 33 to 100 Wemrock Road
300 State Route 33 West, Freehold
(732) 431-2668
Arrive to pick berries and stay for the pies! Wemrock is a family run business that's been serving Central Jersey for over 80 years. There's also a Tomasello Winery tasting room, ice cream parlor and other sweet treats to buy.

8. Lee Turkey Farm (Mercer County)
201 Hickory Corner Rd, East Windsor
(609) 448-0629
Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor is hoping for strawberries by the end of May. Check conditions by calling (609) 448-0629. In June & July, there's U-Pick cherries, raspberries, peaches, melons. Plus year-round, oven-ready whole turkeys and pies for purchase.

9. Terhune Orchards (Mercer County)
330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton
(609) 924-2310
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 its Princeton barn.

10. Giamarese Farm & Orchards (Middlesex County)
155 Fresh Ponds Rd, East Brunswick
(732) 821-9494
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) and nectarines (late summer).

11. VonThun Farms (Middlesex County)
519 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction
(732) 329-8656
VonThun Farms is in Middlesex County (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.

This year, there's even a Strawberry festival set for June 3 and 4 (as long as the crop comes in on-time). It looks like the 'Strawberry Festival Combo' passes are the way to go. There's other produce, hayrides and live animals to enjoy.

12. Snyders Farm (Somerset County)
586 South Middlebush Road, Somerset
(732) 297-1835

It's a family run, cash only business with some sweet-looking strawberries. They've even done a 'pick and paint' event.

13. Phillips Farm (Hunterdon County)
91 Crab Apple Hill Rd, Milford
(908) 995-0022
Strawberries begin in mid to late May at Phillips Farm in Milford. The spot along the Delaware River is open for U-Pick (but closed Mondays and Tuesdays until after Memorial Day). Call (908) 995-0022 to check on conditions and other details.

14. Peterson Farm (Hunterdon County)
438 Quakertown Road, Flemington
Strawberries are in bloom at Peterson Farm in Flemington, with opening day expected around Memorial Day. Those interested can sign up for an email list dedicated to the short season. The farm even offers tips for first-timers, like put them in the fridge right away- and save your picking tray for return trips. Call ahead to plan out a visit, (908) 782-0707.

15. Bonacorsi Family Farm (Hunterdon County)
662 Pittstown Road, Frenchtown
This family run farm grows and sells a wide variety of delicious and healthy produce from May through November. Pick-your-own strawberries are expected to start around Memorial Day weekend. The berries are the 'main event'. No rides or mazes or picnicking, but lots of delicious produce.

16. Melick's Town Farm (Hunterdon County)
170 Oldwick Road, Oldwick
(908) 439-2955
Strawberries are expected to be ready heading into Memorial Day weekend at Melick's Town Farm in Oldwick. Check before visiting by calling (908) 439-2318. Once picking is underway, hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, while berries last. You might want to try their hard cider, too (thank me for it later)! Also, Melicks' Califon spot offers fresh peaches and pears later in the summer.

17. Alstede Farms (Morris County)
1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
(908) 879-7189
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. There's family fun weekends with pony rides, a moon bounce, wagon train ride and more. Call ahead at (908) 879-7189. There's also blueberries, peaches, melons and more throughout the summer.

18. Donaldson Farms (Warren County)
358 Allen Road, Hackettstown
(908) 852-9122
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. Call (908) 852-9122 to check on conditions.

19. Farms View Farm Market & Garden Center (Passaic County)
945 Black Oak Ridge Road, Wayne
(973) 839-1212
Strawberry picking is available mid-late May through mid-June. Weather permitting, you can pick your own daily, but call first (973) 839-1212.

20. Sussex County Strawberry Farm (Sussex County)
565 US-206, Newton
(973) 579-5055

Sussex County Strawberry Farm is run by two families, in the farming business for over 30 years. Call (973) 579-5055 to plan out a visit. The farm also offers raspberry picking in late summer. Strawberries are flowering, with the season expected to start in June.

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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