Strawberry Patch – June 2017
Strawberry Patch Field Trips
Stade’s offers group field trips where students can experience the thrill of selecting their very own strawberries.
Picking your own strawberries at Stade’s Farm & Market has become a favorite tradition over the years. We have 17 acres of prime picking, delectable red fruit available for your enjoyment!
Strawberry Picking Rates
The cost per person (for all adults, students, parents, and siblings) is $6.00 per person, which includes your basket and picked berries and up to 2-hours on the farm. Note: Attendees who choose not to pick berries are still subject to a $6.00 attending fee. All tours require a minimum of 10 students and one chaperone for every 10 students.
When you arrive at Stade’s Farm, please follow the signs and park in the designated area. Gather your entire group and walk to the strawberry check-in area. We will count each person, you will pay and then each student, teacher, chaperone, sibling, parent, etc., who attends will be given one empty 2-Quart bucket to be used when picking their berries.
Groups will be instructed in the proper way to select and pick berries and then guided to that day’s current picking rows. The time it takes for picking will depend on your group however it generally takes about 30 minutes. We suggest you bring along plastic grocery-type bags so that your students have a way to transport their berries on the bus/vehicle and avoid berry spillage.
Click here to view the 2017 Strawberry Picking Field Trips.
We do ask that an adult supervises young pickers as they learn to select berries properly. Remember, once a strawberry is picked it will not ripen any further. Please select only red, ripe berries and stay away from white, pink and still developing fruit.
Required Chaperones and Supervision
Stade’s Farm requires a 10 to 1 student/chaperone ratio. (One adult teacher or parent chaperone for every 10 students). All students in attendance must remain with their chaperone at all times.
Lunch on the Grounds
Your group is welcome to remain on the grounds and enjoy lunch* on your own. You may brown bag a lunch or purchase food from our onsite vendors. There are picnic tables throughout the grounds that are available on a first come, first serve basis. Feel free to bring a blanket and sit in the grass and have a picnic. Kindly dispose of all trash, juice boxes, bags and related debris be properly in the trash cans located through the facility and on the grounds. *Stade’s Farm does not supply lunch.
Proper Dress for Picking
Remember to check the local weather and dress accordingly. Our rows are lined with straw to reduce the mud or dirt from rain or wet conditions, however, you still may want to wear an older pair of shoes or boots. Keep in mind straw can be scratchy so if you have a child who may be bothered by this, we suggest long pants to be more comfortable. to avoid ruining your clothing, we suggest wearing clothing you don’t mind getting stained from the juicy berries.
We have porta potties located throughout the grounds. Inside bathroom facilities are closed to the general public. If you have a specific need please contact management to make appropriate arrangements.
Field Trip Hours
We schedule field trips between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.
Our farm market will be open daily 9:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily. We sell a variety of delicious bakery goods (pies, donuts, breads, etc.), fresh in season produce, a nice selection of soup starters, bread mixes, chips, salsa, our own harvested honey, gluten-free products and more. Please visit us in the market during your field trip stay.
Payment for your field trip will be accepted when you arrive for your scheduled trip. Payment can be made by check, debit, cash or credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Sorry, we do not accept American Express. Checks are to be made out to Stade’s Farm & Market. Note: Please place in the memo Strawberry Trip.
Note: Please be sure to put your school name, contact number, and date of field trip on a note in your envelope so that we can be sure to properly record your payment.
Summary of Available Trips & Registration
Package A: Strawberry Picking Only
• This is our 2-hour package
• One 2-quart bucket of pick-your-own strawberries to take home
• Program cost: $6.00 per person (Includes your berries).
• All additional chaperones/adults and siblings will be charged $6.00 each and also receive a two-quart basket to pick strawberries.
If your group requires special accommodations please give us a call at (815)979-9212.
Have a question? Click the strawberry.
About Strawberries & How to Pick Them
When strawberry picking, you will want to choose plump, firm, red strawberries. Berries that are pink, white, slightly green or orange in color are not ripe. Please leave those on the vine to ripen further and choose RED berries only! You cannot judge a strawberry simply by the size of the fruit. The larger or smaller a strawberry is does not affect how sweet the fruit will taste. If you have ever wondered how to tell if a strawberry is ripe, all you have to do is look at the tip of the strawberry. If the tip is completely red, the strawberry is ready to eat. Strawberry picking is most successful when the picker applies these simple “rules” of picking strawberries. Unlike tomatoes and some other fruits and vegetables, strawberries stop ripening at the moment they are picked.
Remember, “The redder the better!!“
Here is how to pick strawberries:
1. Hold the stem of the strawberry at about one half of an inch above the berry between your thumbnail and index finger while cradling the fruit in your palm.
2. Sever the stem with pressure from your thumbnail while slightly twisting the stem.
3. Allow the strawberry (including the cap and stem) to gently roll down into your palm
4. Gently place your picked strawberries into your container. Don’t press the strawberries or heap them over five inches.
Strawberry Picking Etiquette
When you go strawberry picking, remember that the pick your own farm is like going to a farmers home. Be courteous. The plants can be damaged or killed by traipsing on them, so be careful not to step on either the plants or strawberries. Be gentle with the strawberry plants and be careful to pick only fully ripe, red strawberries. Picking and then discarding partially ripe strawberries means that the farmer looses those berries and they become unavailable to other people. Making a mistake comes with the territory, but excessive carelessness can cost the farmer a lot and reduce the wonderful berries available to future pickers. It is difficult to abstain from sampling a few especially tempting strawberries, but be courteous and keep the freebies to a minimum. It isn’t an all-you-can-eat buffet. Following these few suggestions will make the strawberry picking experience better for everyone!
Picking strawberries is a wonderful experience and loads of fun! We look forward to your visit.