2020 will be our 12th season growing strawberries and will be significantly different than any other year. As a farm family and local business who loves providing fresh strawberries to our community, we have been diligently planning and preparing changes to our procedures to get the crop harvested under the circumstances of COVID-19. We will be following CDC and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our employees and customers. Our three field locations at the Home farm in Hamilton, Oatlands in Leesburg and Gilbert’s Corner in Aldie have acres and acres of strawberries that will provide a safe open-air picking environment.
With input from our customer-led focus groups we will have 3 options to get fresh strawberries:
- PYO via Reservations: We will be open for PYO with a reservation system in place to limit and spread arrival times out throughout the day. Making an appointment will be easy to do online on our website either the day before or the morning of deciding to come out to pick.
- Strawberry Drive-Thru: We will also offer a drive-thru for pre-picked strawberries on various days of the season.
- Community-Supported Agriculture: Our CSA is now full but we thank everyone who signed up and those who are on the waitlist.
Strawberry season has always been a magical time of year for our family and many other families who love strawberries. We are going to do our best to keep the magic alive and continue to provide a healthy food option and a sense of normalcy that is needed in these challenging times. We ask for your patience as we navigate these changes.
COVID-19 Procedure Details
The following contains important information on precautions and procedures we are implementing, with your assistance, to help keep our customers and staff safe from the Coronavirus.
To pick your own strawberries this year, you MUST choose a time and make a reservation on our website. Reservations will be available to be made the evening before at 7pm or the morning or day of picking if available. Reservations cannot be made more than 1 day in advance because field and picking conditions will not be known until the day before.
Making a reservation is easy. Just click on reservations on our home page and select the location you wish to pick at. You will be required to purchase your first busket of berries for $24 in order to make the reservation. You will be able to pick as many buskets as you like once you get to the field, but must pre-pay for 1 busket to make a reservation. Only 1 reservation required per family (per car).
🍓 Please stay home if you are sick. If you appear to be sick, we cannot allow you on our farm. Get well, wait 14 days, and when you’re sure you’re well, we’ll be happy to see you!
🍓 Please wash and/or disinfect your hands before and after picking. We have washing stations at the entrance of each field. Absolutely NO sampling of berries in the field is allowed. Like any produce, strawberries should be washed under running water before eating/cooking (NO disinfectants, cleaning wipes, or soap should be used on any type of produce).
🍓 Social Distancing — please stay at least 6 feet from anyone you don’t live with, both in the check-in/check-out line and in the strawberry field. When you arrive and after you wash your hands, you will be greeted by a member of our staff to go over again how things will work this year and direct you to our strawberry patch boss. In the field, our patch boss will assign your family to your very own row (they will be numbered) away from other people in the field. You will be expected to listen carefully as the patch boss will tell you where to start picking in that row and how you are to mark where you pick using a flag. This system will allow you to pick in a fresh spot that has not been picked. While picking, aggressively move the strawberry leaves aside and pick as cleanly as you can only the red ripe berries.
🍓 No outside containers allowed. You must use our brand new 4-quart “buskets” only this year. To limit contact between customers and our cashiers, we will not weigh strawberries this year. A busket holds approximately 5 pounds of strawberries and is priced at $24, including tax and includes the busket for $1. They are dishwasher-safe and can be used over and over for many uses including bringing them back to pick next year (when things are hopefully back to normal.) No other outside containers . . . BUSKETS ONLY.
🍓 Payment: Credit or debit cards are safest and preferred! We have a new “no touch” credit card system for chip cards, “easy-pay” or “tap” cards, Apple pay, and Google pay. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, and American Express. We discourage cash this year but will accept if necessary.
🍓 When pre-picked berries are available via our drive-thru, we will bring them to your car. Please be patient as there could be a short wait. Check website and our Facebook page for availability of pre-picked strawberries. Also available via drive-thru will be our farm fresh donuts, strawberry wine and strawberry lemonade.
🍓 Children that cannot follow directions should be left at home this year. They MUST stay close to parents/adults they are with. Running up and down the strawberry rows will NOT be tolerated this year…at all. We love kids, but they may not be in our fields if not following our farm’s safety precautions.
🍓 No picnicking this year and no dogs or pets allowed on the farm.