Monday, June 11, 2018

Strawberries to sunflowers at Beechwood Farms

Strawberry-picking season is drawing to a close, but that just means things are really getting started at an Upstate favorite, Beechwood Farms!

The slogan “Where the Pickin’s Good!” greets visitors on a sign out on Highway 276 headed into Marietta, SC. Located just 20 minutes north of Greenville, the farm has long been a favorite of Greenville schools for field trips to pick strawberries, although locals know it for their farm stand filled with seasonally fresh produce.

And the pickin’ is good… Even this late in the season you’ll quickly fill up your bucket with some of the sweetest strawberries around! U-pick is easy; you pull in to get pails (or you can bring your own, but you’re not allowed to pick into bags) and get instructions on which field is ripe, then you drive out onto the fields, pick your strawberries, and finally return to the ‘drive through’ to pay for your haul (on our recent visit it was $11.00/gallon you-pick and $15.00 pre-picked). You’ll want to plan to pick early in the morning before the sun gets too hot, and please remember to bring water and sunscreen!

You’re always welcome to buy already-picked berries, and you’ll find plenty at the roadside market while they’re in season. Along with berries and veggies you’ll find other seasonal produce and goods, and prices are very reasonable. For a list of what fruits & vegetables are currently available, check out the Beechwood Farms Facebook page; we picked up some okra, beets and cucumbers on our visit, and the squash, zucchini and greens also looked delicious! 

Lots of pick-your-own fields are open throughout the summer. It is a great opportunity to teach your children about where their food comes from, with the added benefit of fresh veggies. Pull up to the drive-through to find out what is picking in which field.

If the kids are along, head over to the playground to run off some more energy. If they tire of the playsets and swings, they can visit with the resident goats in their nearby pen.

The most anticipated time of year on the farm may be sunflower season. On our recent visit one field of sunflowers was already blooming, and we received permission to pick a few stems. However, these were just volunteer flowers that planted themselves from last year’s crop… the BIG field will be blooming in late summer and you won’t want to miss visiting the farm when it is ablaze in yellow! Professional photographers are welcome (for fee info and to schedule appointments email theresa (at) mybeechwoodfarms (dot) com), however individuals can take photographs for free with a purchase of sunflowers or from the farmstand. Walking among the rows of bright yellow flowers brought back memories of our time in France; there sunflowers were grown to make huile de tournesol, but the magical feeling of walking on sunshine is the same.

See related post: Sunflowers

In the fall Beechwood offers fields trips for students of all ages. For a hands-on learning experience geared towards the age of your students, contact theresa (at) mybeechwoodfarms (dot) com for more info and to schedule your outdoor learning experience. Similar field trip options are offered in the spring, and not only to schools but to homeschool groups and daycares as well.

October brings the annual ‘Fall Family Fun Days’ which include horse rides, hay rides to the pumpkin patch & sunflower hill, vendors with food, bread and baked goods, and farm animals. Beechwood Farms also has a pumpkin patch for when Halloween rolls around, along with fall decorations, a corn maze, and haunted hayrides. The end of October marks the end of the Beechwood Farms season, although it’s never long until spring is back and Beechwood is celebrating the new season and hosting their May strawberry festival!

To keep up with seasonal offerings and events at Beechwood Farms, you can follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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