The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday May 7th

Have a 'berry' good time with this guide to strawberry picking in the Triangle

Strawberries wait to be bought at Jean's Neighborhood Market in Apex. As the weather warms, berry picking in the Chapel Hill area becomes a popular activity.
Buy Photos Strawberries wait to be bought at Jean's Neighborhood Market in Apex. As the weather warms, berry picking in the Chapel Hill area becomes a popular activity.

It's that time of the year again: strawberry season. 

These Triangle farms have strawberry picking opportunities, and from Chapel Hill, you can drive to them in less than 30 minutes.  

The farms are also taking COVID-19 precautions like putting up Plexiglas barriers to separate business owners and customers, as well as offering hand-washing stations for customers to use.

Eno River Farm – Hillsborough

Pick strawberries along the Eno River at Eno River Farm, about a 30-minute drive from UNC. The farm is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Check the Eno River Farm's Facebook for updates on their "pick your own" strawberry picking availability. 

Eno River Farm also sells wholesale berries and homemade ice cream — contact info@enoriverfarms.com for pricing inquiries. 

The farm expects blueberry and blackberry fields to open in June. 

Waller Family Farm – Durham

The strawberry fields at Waller Family Farm in Durham will be open soon — the fields usually open every year around April 28. 

The farm will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Mark Waller, owner of the Waller Family Farm, said their operation has adapted minor changes to follow all suggested CDC guidelines for this strawberry season, which normally runs from late April until early-to-mid June. 

“We ask everybody that comes to bring a mask," Waller said. "We will have multiple hand-washing stations, we have Plexiglas up and this year, our employees you’ll see this year will be vaccinated.”

Waller said the the farm, which is 2.5 acres in size, allows for customers to find an area where they feel safe and are away from other visitors. 

“It’s what I do for a living," Waller said. "I don’t buy or resell, and we’ve been here since 1940. We were tobacco then transitioned over to vegetables and strawberries, and now we just do strawberries.”

To explore the farm’s offerings and updated hours, visit its Facebook page.

Page Farms – Raleigh 

About a 25-minute drive from UNC’s campus, Page Farms in Raleigh is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. These hours may fluctuate due to strawberry availability depending on weather conditions and customer volume. 

Customers are given a bucket upon arrival that they can fill. Pre-picked strawberries are also available. Danny Page, owner of Page Farms, said the farm runs a 95 percent “you-pick” operation. 

Page said rows where customers pick strawberries will be spaced out for social distancing, and the farm is taking other COVID-19 precautions 

“We got hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers around, Plexiglas between us and customers, and we took all the signs down for pictures," Page said. "You can’t have any contact with anything like that.”

To explore the farm’s offerings and updated hours, visit its Facebook.

Phillips Farms – Cary 

Phillips Farms is not offering traditional strawberry picking this year, but pre-picked options allow customers to still enjoy freshly picked strawberries. The farm started strawberry sales on April 22. Customers are able to purchase on weekdays and on the weekends at the Farmers Market of Phillips Farms of Cary from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The farm will update its social media pages with the availability and hours for when berries are for sale. 

Michael Phillips, one of the owners of Phillips Farms, said he wants customers to know that they are following CDC guidelines with increased hand-washing stations and that the setup of the farmers market is very spread out. 

“We have over 20-plus vendors that come out on our farm," Phillips said. "We’re working very hard to get local and small businesses here at our farm to sell their product. We’re huge on supporting locals.”

The farm will also be having a strawberry festival with live music, beer and strawberry products on May 15 and 16. 

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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