I’ve played Harvest Moon, of course I know how strawberries grow. No, I’d never seen a strawberry farm before. And yes, I would have believed you if you’d told me they grow under the earth.
With modern day city life, Facebook and video game farming simulators are about as close as we get to growing food and experiencing farming. But if you reserve a weekend or afternoon for a little trip, you can get much, much closer to farming and harvesting than just clicking at a screen.
Research the closest “pick-your-own” farm to you. If you live in The Woodlands, there are plenty that are close such as Atkinson Farm (20 min away) and Neal’s Berry Farm (10 min away). We chose to visit Jollisant Farm, which is a little ways away, because Jollisant Farm uses organic practices.
Jollisant Farm and Pick-Your-Own
Jollisant Farm is an organic farm open to the public for picking your own strawberries and vegetables. It is located at 11351 Country Rd 203 Plantersville, TX 77363, about a 50 minute drive from The Woodlands.
I had never been to a pick-your-own farm and now I’m a little in love with the concept.
Pick-your-own farms allow you to get in touch with nature – to teach or learn about the true roots of food and to strengthen our connection and understanding of the food system. They’re a great excuse to pack a hearty lunch and spend a whole morning or afternoon outdoors with the family – picking, picnicking and playing.
Because you are harvesting the fruit and veggies yourself, you have complete control over quality and can choose to get only the ripest, sweetest, prettiest if you so desire and you know your produce is 100% fresh. Did you know fruits and vegetables, after picking, loose nutritional value over time? University of California studies show that vegetables can lose 15 to 55 percent of vitamin C, for instance, within a week. Produce in the supermarkets can have been sitting in boxes for days or weeks before they get to our kitchens where they sit for even more days before consumption. Yikes. The good news is treating ourselves to local, fresh produce is not terribly hard in Texas.
Jollisant Farm had gorgeous, red strawberries for picking. Considering it’s an organic farm, I was expecting it to be teeming with insects and it was decidedly not – though we had lovely spring weather and I cannot speak for the summer months to come.
Speaking of spring, Jollisant Farm will be hosting their 2015 Strawberry Festival this april 18th. There will be strawberry picking, gardening and jam making classes, food demos, vendors, live music and fun competitions for the family.
If you miss it, check their facebook page for upcoming events!
If you’re planning to visit to harvest here are some things to keep in mind:
- They have various picnic tables
- There is no shade but for the picnic area and inside the country store
- If you are following directions from a GPS – mine “arrived to destination” about 30 yards from the entrance, so keep driving a bit more if you don’t see it and keep an eye out for a big yellow sign reading “Jollisant Farm.”
- They have a little lake they will open for fishing – if you’d like to fish, call ahead to see if they have already done so.
- sunscreen and a cap or hat
- snacks and refreshments
- friends and family
- a hearty strawberry appetite
Do Not Bring:
- jams and pickled veggies – they have a wide selection of home-made jams
- honey – they have local honey for sale
- basket – they provide baskets for picking berries
- alcohol – not allowed
- pets – unfortunately no furry friends allowed
Call ahead for fruit availability: (936) 894-2766 and like their facebook page to get special deals and news on upcoming events.
*disclaimer – this review reflects my opinion and I did not receive any payment nor gifts from Jollisant Farms*
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