It's the prime season for strawberries. The sweet, crimson fruit is at its peak now.
Fans of the berry will want to round up the family to plan a day of picking in the Region. There are a variety of U-Pick farms locally as well as throughout the Midwest within a short driving distance.
Check the following list for places to enjoy the picking experience. The list is just a sample of places which have U-Pick opportunities.
• Garwood Orchard and Farm Market, 5911 W. 50 South, LaPorte
The U-Pick is scheduled to run through July 4. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. for U-Pick. Call for exact closing date as information is subject to change. Pre-picked strawberries also are available.
• Johnson's Strawberry Farm, 8960 E. Ridge Road, Hobart. U-pick strawberries are now available. There is a $5 admission fee per person and $10 fee per person to pick on festival weekends in addition to purchasing the strawberries. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pre-picked strawberries also are available.
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Johnson's Strawberry Festival takes place June 18 and 19. Other festivals take place on weekends throughout the year. Call for more details.
FYI: Call the farm at 219-962-1383.
• Heider's Berry Farm, 1106 N. Queen Anne Road, Woodstock
The farm is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Strawberry picking is available now. Call the farm or visit heidersberryfarm.com for more information.
• Bixby Orchards, 5745 Pokagon Road, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
U-Pick will be available through the end of June. Call the farm or visit its Facebook page for updated information.
• Stover's U-Pick and Farm Market, 7837 M-139, Berrien Springs, Michigan
Call for the current U-Pick schedule and information. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Monday to Saturday. Pre-picked berries also are available.
• Thompson's Strawberry Farm, 14000-75th St., Bristol, Wisconsin., 6621 156th Ave., Bristol.
Hours for U-Pick strawberries are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Pre-picked strawberries also are available. The U-Pick farm opens June 15. Call for updates on picking schedule and conditions. Prices are $16 for a 4-quart basket.
FYI: 262-857-2353 or thompsonstrawberryfarm.com
Strawberry Festival, downtown Long Grove, Illinois. The popular annual fest will be held June 24 to 26. Food, drinks, live music and family entertainment will be featured. Visit longgrove.org/festivals/strawberry-fest/.
If you have strawberries left over from your picking adventure, try the following recipe.
Berry Lemon Mousse Parfait
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon Pure Lemon Extract
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup blueberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
DIRECTIONS: Beat heavy cream, 5 tablespoons of the sugar, lemon juice and extracts in large chilled bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Toss berries and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Layer mousse and berries in dessert dishes. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.