There may be nothing as summery and delicious as eating fresh strawberries or raspberries just picked from the bush. And if more than one type of fruit – and more than one farm venue – appeals to you, Long Island in late June is your kind of place.
Lewin Farms is the grandpa of the You Pick farm on Long Island, or the great great grandpa, as it’s now in its fourth generation. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, Lewin Farms grows them all. The only catch is that not all the fields are always ripe for picking, so it’s important you call ahead (631 929 5327) to find out that day’s plan. U-Pick fields are generally open from 9 am to 4:30 pm except on Tuesdays and when noted due to limited quantities or weather conditions. Of course, there’s also a farm stand if you don’t feel like picking – it’s open 9am to 5pm Wednesdays through Mondays, closed on Tuesdays.
Lewin Farms is all about picking, but if you want a different kind of farm experience, Harbes Family Farm is just up the road (715 Sound Avenue, Mattituck, NY 11952; 631 298 0700; www.harbesfamilyfarm.com). Beyond the obligatory farm stand (there are literally dozens on the North Fork) two things make it popular: the Barnyard Adventure– a 7-acre kids playland with hands-on playing/learning experiences, animals to pet, a bounce house, pony and hay rides and playground-type fun – and a wine tasting room where parents can buy a glass of wine and sit at outdoor picnic tables, waiting for the kids to run themselves out of energy. Weekend Barnyard Adventure pricing is $18.95 (includes a Singing Hayride, Pig Races, hosted Barnyard Games and other activities); kids 2 and under free. Barnyard adventure is open 10 am to 6 pm, Vineyard open 11-6 pm daily.