Where Have All the Strawberry Farms Gone?

Mt. Airy U-Pick Strawberries in Davidsonville, Md.

Long time ago…

Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay might seem like an overflowing land of townhouses and car dealerships, but just 10 years ago there were still a lot of small farms and you-pick operations. Every year the number of farms that will allow me to run wild on their property diminishes, and I cry real tears at the thought of not being able to pick 15 pounds of PERFECTLY ripe berries.

Our family has always gone to the farm to pick fruits–getting all dirty and damp, each of us boasting that we’ve found the perfect, biggest, best morsel. The few short weeks of the strawberry season mean strawberries on cereal, salads, sandwiches, and tried-and-true Bisquick drop biscuits with heavy whipped cream.

So what the hell am I going to do if I have to start getting strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples, pears and peaches from the STORE?! Hopefully, I will never have to answer that question.

Fellow agriculture fans do a better job of keeping track of those farms than me, and I’ve found substantial fresh-food listings for Maryland at these sites.

University of Maryland Pick-Your-Own
I have a date with Baugher’s in Westminster soon for cherries. And I’ll be back for peaches, and nectarines, and plums, and canteloupe and….

Pick Your Own.org
Can’t decide if I trust this site, as it was formatted by a 75-year-old. But I bet Spring Valley Farm in Conowingo is gorgeous.

Maryland Agriculture Farm listing
Things I didn’t know. Dragonfly Farms in Mount Airy: producing things like black currant wine vinegar. I see what you did there.

Maryland’s Best Agriculture
Search by area, and turns up mostly farms and stores. I am interested to check out grass-fed beef from Sunrise Farm.

Maryland Farmer’s Markets
Wow! TONS! With this map I can see that there are markets in the area of my job on Wednesday, Tuesday, AND Saturday.

Farmer’s Markets via the tourism bureau
Glen Burnie Mall has a farmer’s market?! I don’t believe it.

WashPost’s 2012 Listings
Hey, someone had to do a lot of work. Bet the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Market has some inside tips.

Chesapeake Bay area Freshfarm Markets
Open Now!
A little frou-frou, but there are D.C. and Annapolis locations that are convenient. I just prefer my farmers to actually roll up on a tractor.

Maryland Agriculture and Farming
Agriculture is still the largest land use in this state. Educate yourself!

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2 responses to “Where Have All the Strawberry Farms Gone?

  1. Interesting post and interesting links too ,,, šŸ˜‰

    A large part of my childhood was spent in a similar agricultural area in Denmark – it was a small island – so it has retained a focus on agriculture (and tourism – which fits almost perfectly) – but I understand clearly your focus on what is lost and what comes in – I feel the same way about that little island in Denmark… šŸ˜‰

  2. The strawberries we can pick ourselves are certainly the best. Lovely strawberry photo!

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