A thin sliver of sun reaches out beyond the clouds to warm my face as I walk to my car, and I can’t help but think of all the sunny days ahead this month. When sunrays like this one will work their magic to warm the earth, turn the brown grass green and ripen the precious fruits of Spring! I’m headed out to the former Gnismer Farms, now Storm Farms, in Arlington, to take some pictures of their strawberry fields, which will open mid-March to the public, to come and pick the fruit right off the plants!
In south Texas, we’ve picked as early as January, but in North Texas, the season runs from about the first day of Spring to sometimes as late as early June. Like the Texas weather, fruit can be unpredictable.
I arrive at the farm to find several workers out tending to the nearly 50 rows of strawberries. Johanna Storm, the new owner of the farm, said they should open around March 18th this year, depending on the weather. The farm operated as a You Pick Strawberry Farm in Arlington for about 14 years, but closed in 2011. Joanna said that she wanted to have a place where families and kids could get outside and reconnect with real food and the land. The farm, now known as Storm Farms, is awaiting organic certification, but says that everything is grown organically.
They will offer already picked strawberries, and Pick Your Own, which they will sell by the container. They expect to be open several days a week, with a few days off to allow for the fruit to ripen. Johanna said that when they open visitors will be able to check their website for hours and days open.
Local residents can’t wait for them to re-open their fields again this Spring! Laura Vogelsang, one of the farm’s previous customers, said she first visited the farm with her Moms Group years ago, and is looking forward to their opening. “My children and I picked strawberries at Gnismer Farms several years in a row before it closed. Every Spring since then, they have asked me if we can pick strawberries again! They will be thrilled to hear that the farm has reopened for strawberry picking.”
Pick Your Own Farm Etiquette
Kids love Pick Your Own farms, and it’s a great chance to get them outside and in touch with dirt and plants, as well as learning about real food, and that it doesn’t grow in the grocery store! However, it’s important to remember that the farmers depend on these crops for their livelihood, and we need to respect them and supervise the kiddos. A few things to remember:
Show your children which strawberries are good to pick, and which ones need to stay on the vines a little longer.
Only pick the fruit you intend to purchase.
Don’t damage the plants, and never step over a row.
Don’t run down the rows, and be considerate of the other pickers.
It’s tempting, but don’t make a meal of the strawberries in the fields. The strawberries are sold by the container, and it’s not fair to eat what you don’t pay for.
Texas U-Pick Farms
Once you’ve fallen in love with picking your own fruit, you’ll be ready to take the kids out to dig potatoes, pick plums off the tree and blackberries off the vine! Click HERE to visit Texas U-Pick Farms, and find more near you. Larken Farms in Waxahachie is one of our favorite You-pick peach orchards, click HERE to read more.
Know Before You Go
Strawberry plants don’t have thorns, so gloves aren’t really needed. You should bring some wipes to clean dirty, and sometimes red, little hands afterwards.
Wear close-toed shoes.
There are not restrooms, so go before you arrive.
It’s important to remember that a farm is not a park, but there are plenty of parks nearby for after your visit to the farm! Gardens Park is the closest, and has a small playground and lake. California Lane Park has a playground and splash pad, which doesn’t open until Memorial Day. Veterans Park is huge, with a great playground, walking trails, and a nature trail. Mary and Jimmie Hooper Park, on W. Pleasant Ridge, also has a playground, picnic tables and a small pond to explore.
Things To Do in Arlington
Explore Lake Arlington by canoe or kayak at Adventures Unlimited. Click HERE to read more.
Disc Golf is a fun and free activity for the entire family, and Veterans Park in Arlington has a terrific course! Click HERE to read more.
The UTA Planetarium shows terrific movies each week. Click HERE to read more.
Chophouse Burgers are one of our favorites, and check out their awesome Bootleg Bacon Fried Chicken, too! Click HERE to visit their website.
3010 S Bowen Rd, Arlington,
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun is on PINTEREST! Use it as a quick resource to find activities in different Texas towns! Click HERE!
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