It's my favorite time of year! I have so many fond memories of strawberry picking with my mom from the time I was an infant on through adulthood. My mom would jam enough berries to last a year of my PBJ sandwiches. I carry on the tradition with our kids, who especially love toast with butter and jam for breakfast.
We went to Trauger's Farm Market today which is just a pretty country drive away from home. It has been so cold and rainy I didn't expect too much out of the picking yet, but I figured we'd give it a shot since the kids were kind of bored at home today. We were so surprised by how fast the picking was! My kids have never picked so many berries in record speed! (The rock candy treat from their market store was a handy incentive ;) ).
If you are interested in making jam, I suggest trying Pomona's Universal Pectin instead of the grocery store brands available because it allows you to reduce the sugar by 50% or more. I've been using Pomona's for years now, and it is amazing. Our jam tastes like actual fresh berries rather than refined sugar. You can find it at Wegmans, Whole Foods, or on Amazon :) I'm not a Pomona's rep or anything, I just like to share my experience with something different. And guess what? I called their hotline last night while making the jam with a question about one of the recipes I'd never tried before, and today a real human being called me back and talked to me to troubleshoot! How awesome is that?!
I hope you get out and enjoy some berry picking with your family! According to Trauger's Farm, they should be out through the month of June.
And lastly, a little tip if you enjoy photographing your family's adventures as I do: I like to go strawberry picking on a cloudy day. The colors pop so much more and otherwise, it is usually harsh mid-day sun and there are so many shadows on the kid's faces.