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Strawberry picking season in full swing

Bushwood, MD- Strawberry picking season is in full swing in Southern Maryland. The season started earlier than usual, thanks to the mild winter the region had.

Southern Comfort Berry Farm in Bushwood has already welcomed hundreds of visitors this season. The real working, 11-acre farm allows families to head out into the fields to pick their own strawberries. Kari Ritchey, owner, said the farm has more than 9,000 strawberry plants that produce sweet, bright red, juicy strawberries. “Sweet Charlie, Chandler and Festival strawberries—Sweet Charlie’s are your early berries; they’re fresh, sweet eating berries. The other two are good but they’re not as sweet and they’re good for jam making and freezing.”

Ritchey said the season typically begins May 1st but the berries were ripe for picking around Easter and the farm has been packed daily. “The harvest has been pretty good. A few days of rain caused some damage in one field and strawberries don’t like the rain—they rot.”

Schools are starting to roll into the farm for field trips. Ritchey noted the great hands-on learning experience children gain from visiting the fields. “We talk about the berries, how we plant them, how they grow and how the irrigation system works. I also take the kids to the barn and we talk about the animals.” There are plenty of farm yard animals for children to meet, including cows, pigs, chickens and goats. Kids can also enjoy a playground, pedal tractors, the fort and a giant sandbox.

There is no admission fee, you just pay for the strawberries, which are $3 per pound. The farm’s market also has jams, sauces, ice cream and soda for purchase. “If you haven’t been here before it’s an experience everyone should have and it’s a great family-friendly outing,” Ritchey explained.

Southern Comfort Berry Farm is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (based on availability after Saturday’s picking). Call ahead of time to check availability (301- 769-3878.

Strawberry picking season last through mid-June but the farm also provides fresh, in-season, vegetables in the market.

To learn more about Southern Comfort Berry Farm, click here

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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