Where to Go Strawberry Picking in Syracuse (and 7 Picking Tips)

by Lindsay Ott Wilcox

Want to go strawberry picking in Syracuse? You’ve got options. Many farms in Syracuse open their fields to the public for berry picking: from Pompey to Baldwinsville. (See the map of u-pick fields and get directions at the bottom of this article.)

Right now, local fields in the Syracuse area are brimming with ruby red strawberries. According to local growers, this is one of the most bountiful strawberry seasons in recent years.

More Than Apples! Berry Picking at Navarino Orchard

“This year’s strawberry crop is one of our best. There wasn’t any winter injury or frost damage to the strawberry plants. We’ve been watering and weeding, and the field looks great,” said Vincent Sicignano, owner of Navarino Orchard.

While Navarino Orchard is known for u-pick apples, there are rows and rows of strawberry plants loaded with berries.

Located just south of Syracuse, Navarino Orchard is nestled in the rolling hills of apple country on Cherry Valley Turnpike. Navarino grows 3 varieties of strawberries: Earliglow, Wendy, and Jewel.

Smaller is Better, Plus the #1 Secret to Picking Strawberries

Over in Pompey, it’s peak time for strawberry picking at Tre-G Farms. Owner Sue Smith often overhears customers wonder why the strawberries are smaller than those in the grocery stores.

“Size isn’t a good indicator of flavor or quality. The sweeter varieties typically produce a smaller berry. The larger varieties from California are grown for a longer shelf life and a firmer skin to resist bruising on that long journey. Taste is a secondary consideration,” explained Sue.

Sue’s best tip for strawberry picking?

“For maximum sweetness, look for berries that are fully red – with little or no white color. Once you pick a strawberry, the flavor will not change. The color may deepen, but if you pick a not-quite-ripe berry, the flavor will be too tart.”

Hurry! Strawberry Season is Short But Sweet

Everyone always asks: when is strawberry picking season? While it varies from year to year, strawberry season typically runs from early to late June. This year, it may go into the first few days of July.

If you miss out on strawberries, no worries. Raspberry season begins in early July, followed by blueberries in mid-July. Navarino Orchard offers 6 varieties of pick-your-own raspberries. In addition to the early July crop, there’s a fall variety that can be picked up until the first frost.

7 Strawberry Picking Tips

Across town in Baldwinsville, the strawberry picking fields of Reeves Farm are also bursting with berries. You can pick your own strawberries. Or, grab a few pints at the roadside farm stand.

The Reeves Farm team shared their best tips for strawberry picking in Syracuse.

1. Tops for Freshness

When picking strawberries, leave the green tops on. This will keep them fresher longer and prevent the berries from losing juice when you wash them.

2. Wait to Wash

Don’t wash strawberries until right before you use them (and use cold water). They’ll last longer and taste better!

3. Keep Your Cool

Ripe berries should be kept in the refrigerator and used within a few days.

4. A Little Dirt Doesn’t Hurt

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty.

5. Get Sun Smart

Wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring lots of water. There is rarely any shade in U-pick fields!

6. Drive Carefully

Drive carefully. If you are driving in a field, watch out for irrigation pipes or rough spots in field. Stay on the main drive so you don’t run over crops.

7. Dog Days of Summer

Leave your pets at home. Due to food safety regulations, pets are not allowed in the fields.

Simple Strawberry Syrup Recipe, Compliments of Reeves Farm

Max Freeman, the Business and Market Development Intern at Reeves Farm, shared his go-to strawberry syrup recipe. Max is a student at LeMoyne College, studying Business Management. But he also has a background in culinary arts. He swears by this truly “simple” simple syrup. He suggests adding the syrup to lemonade or milk. Or, drizzle it over desserts and pastries.

Ingredients
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups strawberries (halved)

Instructions
Combine sugar and water on high heat until dissolved. Add strawberries and boil at high temp for about 10 minutes so the berry pulp can break down. Reduce heat to medium low and cook down to desired liking. Strain mixture, let it cool, then store in the fridge.

Easy Strawberry Daiquiri, Compliments of Navarino Orchard

Vincent Sicignano of Navarino Orchard wanted to share his favorite daiquiri recipe. It can be made as a “mocktail” (just skip the rum).

Ingredients
4 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
4 oz. simple syrup
4 oz. rum
Juice of 1 lime

Instructions
Blend strawberries (both frozen and fresh) in a blender first. Add next 3 ingredients and blend again. Sip. Enjoy!

Best Spots for Berry Picking in the Syracuse Area

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Title Category Address Description
Abbott Farms U-PickBerries3275 Cold Springs Rd, Baldwinsville, NY

315-638-7783

Visit Their Website | Visit Facebook Page

Adams Acres Organic U-Pick ApplesApples7047 Sevier Rd, Jamesville

315-498-6654

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Beak and Skiff Apple OrchardApples2708 Lords Hill Rd, LaFayette315-696-6085 Visit Website | Visit Facebook Page
Black Coyote Vineyard (U-Pick Grapes)Berries2939 Lafayette Rd, Lafayette, NY

View Facebook Page

Contact the vineyard for details about U-Pick or We-Pick-For-You grapes for wine-making.

Call: 315-391-1036

Email: Blackcoyotevineyard@gmail.com

Cicero "Pumkin" PatchPumpkins7169 Island Road, Cicero, NY

315-699-2200

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Clisson FarmsApples8390 Plainville Rd, Baldwinsville

315-457-9663

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Deer Run Apple OrchardApples2695 State Route 11A, LaFayette

315-677-8087

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Emmi's U-PickApples,Berries1482 West Genesee Rd, Baldwinsville, NY

315-635-7529

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Hencle's Berry Patch U-PickBerries7470 Perry Rd, Baldwinsville, NY

315-635-6942

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Lelakowski's Fruit & Vegetable Stand U-PickBerries,Pumpkins7142 US Route 20, Pompey, NY

315-677-9547

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Navarino Orchard U-PickBerries,Pumpkins3655 Route 20, Syracuse, NY

315-673-9181

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Our FarmPumpkins1590 Peth Road, Manlius, NY315-655-8453 Visit Website | Visit Facebook Page
O'Neill's OrchardApples,Berries4873 US Route 20, LaFayette, NY

315-677-9407

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Plumpton FarmsPumpkins3990 Coye Rd, Jamesville, NY315-469-0027 Visit Facebook Page
Reeves Farms LLC U-PickBerries1220 W Genesee Rd, Baldwinsville, NY315-635-3357

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Riverside U-Pick Berries and PumpkinsBerries,Pumpkins1828 W Gennesse, Baldwinsville, NY315-591-5976 Visit Facebook Page
Rocking Horse FarmApples3736 Apulia Road, Jamesville

315-492-1100

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Springside FarmPumpkins1850 Route 91, Fabius, NYVisit Website | Visit Facebook Page
Stella's Pumpkin Patch at Palladino FarmsPumpkins3149 Sweet Road, Pompey, New York 13138, USA

315-317-1684

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The Hollow Pumpkin PatchPumpkins3735 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY315-200-4888 Visit Website | Visit Facebook Page
Tim's Pumpkin PatchPumpkins2901 Rose Hill Rd, Marietta, NY315-673-9209 Visit Website | Visit Facebook Page
By |2018-06-25T13:36:50+00:00June 21st, 2018|Buy Local|

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