Fresh Produce Here: Area Pick-Your-Own Farms
Meet local growers and get your hands dirty at one of these farms, where you can stroll into the fields and pick your own fruits and vegetables. Many also have farm stands selling produce, flowers, plants and snacks. The brief strawberry-picking season is underway in most of the region, and in others the strawberries will be ready soon. Then it's time for blueberries and raspberries, generally ripening in mid-June, with blackberries and peaches following in July, and apples starting in August. Seasons for other fruits and vegetables vary. Note that the specific varieties offered at each farm are listed; not everyone grows strawberries. Prices vary. Some farmers will give or sell you baskets, but it's best to bring your own containers. Most farms are small family operations whose hours and supplies can change daily, and some are not easy to find without detailed directions, so always call before you visit. Finally, if you're considering a family outing to a nearby farm, don't let wet weather deter you. "Ripe fruit waits for no one!" observes Westmoreland Berry Farm's Anne Geyer. "When it rains people tend to stay away, which means the berries don't get picked and go bad." Don't let them go to waste! Picking berries in a light rain is an unexpected pleasure. You have the cool, quiet fields to yourself and can find the choicest fruit.
Anne Arundel County
MOUNT AIRY U-PICK -- Strawberries. 832 Mount Airy Rd., Davidsonville. 410-798-1862 or 410-798-0838.
HUBER'S FARM -- Strawberries, blackberries. 11956 Old Philadelphia Rd., Bradshaw. 410-679-1941 or 410-679-1948.
WEBER'S CIDER MILL FARM -- Apples. 2526 Proctor Lane, Parkville. 410-668-4488.
SEIDEL FARM -- Thornless blackberries, grapes. 2790 Plum Point Rd. (Route 263), Huntingtown. 410-535-2128.
BAUGHER'S ORCHARD -- Strawberries, sweet and sour cherries, peas, peaches, apples. 1236 Baugher Rd., about three miles west of Westminster on Route 140. 410-857-0111 or 410-848-5541. http:/
HYDROMONT BERRY FARM -- Strawberries. 8020 Hawthorne Rd., La Plata. 301-932-0872.
SHLAGEL FARMS -- Strawberries. 12850 Shlagel Rd., Waldorf. 301-645-4554. http:/
CATOCTIN MOUNTAIN ORCHARD -- Black raspberries, blueberries, sweet and sour cherries. 15036 N. Franklinville Rd., on U.S. 15 a half-mile north of Thurmont. 301-271-2737. http:/
GLADE-LINK FARMS -- Strawberries, blueberries, red raspberries, vegetables. On Route 194 in New Midway. 301-898-7131.
MAYNES FARM -- Strawberries, blackberries. 3420 Buckeystown Pike, Buckeystown. 301-662-4320.
PRYOR'S ORCHARD -- Blueberries, sweet and sour cherries. 13841-B Pryor Rd., Thurmont. 301-271-2693.