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Did someone say strawberry? South Sound’s prized berries are now on farm stands

Sunshine and strawberries: It’s berry season again in Western Washington.

Farms in the fertile South Sound began harvesting their juicy red fruits in the last days of May. You can pick them up at local farmers markets and, in some cases, at the source.

After a late start in 2022, the berry harvest returned to its planned schedule last year.

Strawberries arrive first on Pierce County’s U-Pick calendar, but in some cases can be harvested until later in the summer. At the end of June, raspberries should follow suit, followed by blueberries. The coveted marionberries and boysenberries offer the shortest period, usually landing in July and August. Finally, blackberries will appear in the summer chat in August, a few weeks into September.

Area strawberry lovers rejoiced when Spooner Berry Farms opened its main stand at 3327 Yelm Highway this week and will open other locations in Olympia, Aberdeen, Shelton, Centralia, Seattle and Yelm by the end of this weekend.  Spooner's stands are open daily.  The main stand opens at 8 a.m. and the other locations open at 9:30 a.m.  All stands close when sold out.  Steve Bloom/The OlympianArea strawberry lovers rejoiced when Spooner Berry Farms opened its main stand at 3327 Yelm Highway this week and will open other locations in Olympia, Aberdeen, Shelton, Centralia, Seattle and Yelm by the end of this weekend.  Spooner's stands are open daily.  The main stand opens at 8 a.m. and the other locations open at 9:30 a.m.  All stands close when sold out.  Steve Bloom/The Olympian

Consider local farmers markets to get your fix:

Tuesday: Lakewood Farmers Market, June 4 – September. 5, 2-7 p.m

Wednesday: Steilacoom Farmers Market, June 12 – August. 28, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Thursday: Tacoma Broadway Farmers Market, May 2 – October. 31, 10am-2pm; Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market, June 6 – August 29, 1-6 p.m.

Friday: Orting Valley Farmers Market, June 7 – August. 23, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Saturday: Proctor Farmers Market, weekly April-December, 9am-2pm; Puyallup Farmers Market, April 20-October. 12, 9am – 2pm

Thursday Saturday: Olympia Farmers Market, year-round, 10am – 3pm

Eat Local First, a partnership of regional nonprofits focused on local food and agriculture, is also a great resource. Filter the Food and Farm Finder map to find farms, markets and restaurants near you offering locally sourced produce, proteins, flowers and more.

SPOONBERRY FARMS – OLYMPIA

Beginning June 5, Spooner will have strawberry flats (12 pints) for $35 and half flats (six pints) for $20 available at the farm stand at 3327 Yelm Highway in Olympia. Visit daily from 8am until sold out, which will definitely happen! Other locations should open by June 12. Also purchase a pint ($16) or liter ($30) of the farm’s special berry honey.

Please note that Spooner’s U-Pick will not take place this year: Olympia is turning the field into a park.

The farm is known for berries with “exceptional flavor” and high sugar content, but that goodness translates into a short shelf life.

“Always make sure you put your berries in the refrigerator as soon as you get home,” the farm wrote on Facebook and Instagram. “The sooner they are cooled, the longer they will last. If they are left on the counter, they will continue to ripen.”

SPOONER FARMS – PUYALLUP

Spooner picked his first baskets of strawberries just before Memorial Day. Starting in June, all locations will be open and you can scoop pints and flats at the Puyallup Farmers Market in Pioneer Park on Saturdays.

Visit the main farm at 9710 Route 162 from 9am or the Orting farm stand at 1200 Kapowsin Highway East from 10am. Spooner also sets up at 10 a.m. at the Buckley Eagles, 29021 Route 410, and at the Farm 12 restaurant in Puyallup, near the Foothills Trail.

Not enough ripe fruit? You can also buy small plants, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and loganberries, for the vegetable garden.

Check facebook.com/SpoonerFarmsPuyallup for updates.

SIDHU FARMS

Sidhu Farms strawberries were on stands and farmers markets on June 1. The family never uses sprays or pesticides on their berries, they noted in an Instagram post.

Visit the farm daily from 9am. Sidhu is also a mainstay at local farmers markets, including Proctor Farmers Market and Puyallup on Saturdays, and Tacoma Farmers Market on Broadway on Thursdays. Get some rhubarb while you still can!

You can also buy frozen berries online, as well as jam.

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