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Venture Out at Sweet Berry Farm for Best Pickings

As Emma knows, there’s no better way to spend a day than picking strawberries at Sweet Berry Farm, located between Marble Falls and Granite Shoals at 1801 FM 1980. The farm is open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday (closed Wednesday) and 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

The rows are alive with the colors of strawberries. Yes, that’s a cheesy way to start, and I stole it from "The Sound of Music," but it sums up what you’ll find at Sweet Berry Farm this spring.

A couple of weeks into the spring season, things are looking strong at Sweet Berry Farm. The rows after rows of strawberries beckon you to explore to find the reddest, juiciest, and nicest berries around. Here’s a hint: Venture out farther from the entrance.

During a quick trip to Sweet Berry Farm, the farmer at the front counter advised me that the best place to find nice, big strawberries was in the distant rows, and way down them. Most folks stick to the first few rows and seldom go all the way down.

As I got farther and farther away, and farther and farther down the row, I spied plenty of nice-sized berries.

While the plants closer to the tops of the rows and nearer the main entrance also boasted a good number of berries, the plants in the far reaches of the fields were bursting with fruit.

Blooms mean more strawberries. Sweet Berry Farm is open for the 2019 spring season and bursting with berries. The strawberry picking continues through about mid-May with blackberries ready for plucking that month. Berries are only part of the Sweet Berry Farm experience, which includes barrel train rides, flower pot painting, the Berry Bounce, and homemade ice cream. You pay for what you do, so there’s no admission or parking fee. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

A good sign that there are several weeks of picking left is all the white blooms. A blooming plant typically means more berries on the way.

Since we’re talking about plants, and farming, conditions do change, so if you’re looking for up-to-date information, check out Sweet Berry Farm’s Fresh News or its Facebook page.

Strawberries are the star in the spring, but they aren’t the only thing going on at Sweet Berry Farm. The folks there have created a one-stop, family-fun stop.

First off, you don’t pay admission or parking fees. The Copeland family — the folks behind Sweet Berry Farm — open the place up for everyone to enjoy.

You can create sand art, paint a pot, jump on the Berry Bounce (kids only), and ride the barrel train (again, for the kids). These are all pay-as-you-go, so if you want to take your kids or grandkids out to expend their overflowing energy, I recommend purchasing several tickets for the Berry Bounce.

As they bounce away, you can settle on a bench in the shade while enjoying homemade strawberry ice cream or any of the farm's other flavors. Sweet Berry Farm offers several sweet treats, including popsicles and smoothies (on the weekends).

You can do as much as you want, or as little.

If you need to get out of the house with the kids — or get them away from their electronic devices — grab a picnic and head for Sweet Berry Farm. There’s no charge just to come out and sit at one of the picnic tables under the oaks and pecan trees and enjoy lunch.

You can even commemorate the day with a souvenir shirt, hat, or other item. Or, take a few photos.

As spring continues, blackberries will come along in May. The strawberries usually keep producing through mid-May.

Sweet Berry Farm accepts cash, check, and credit cards; plus, there’s an ATM on site. The farm is open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Wednesday) and 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday.

The wonderful thing — well, one of many — about Sweet Berry Farm is it’s a place you can create your own family fun and memories. The Copelands and the Farm Hands — that’s what they call the staff — just provide a setting in which to do it.

So take if from me and my family: Sweet Berry Farm is a great place to be. Just leave a berry or two for me.

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