It was only the first day of summer for us – the very first day with no school – that I decided my three young boys and I needed something fun to do. It was way too much of a drop-off to go from fully scheduled day to tooling around at home, and the idea of strawberry-picking popped into my head. It had been on the to-do list for a couple of weeks, but between school, birthday parties and baseball games, there wasn’t time to work it in. A wide open day on the calendar was perfect!
So we decided to load the car and head to Ivy Place Farm in Lancaster, S.C. It’s only about a 35-40 minute drive from our house, just enough to listen to a fun podcast or two. I didn’t have to rush my sons, aged 7 and 5-year-old twins, out the door, and we still got there by 10:30 a.m. or so.
And the beauty of going right now? It’s warm but not super hot yet, and you have multiple berries to pick! It’s the tail end of strawberry picking – but there were still plenty of beautiful, yummy strawberries – and you can also pick blackberries, blueberries and tomatoes. Plus you can always pick a few vegetables, like zucchini, squash or cucumbers, and there are all sorts of fresh flowers to create your own bouquet or do what we did and pick up one up for my mom that was ready made.
We’ve been to Ivy Place a few times now and love it. It’s beautiful and authentic. Not a lot of gimmicks to attract you there. Just a picturesque and peaceful place. We like to bring back our own baskets, and this time we just filled two with berries. That was plenty without overdoing it. We didn’t need to come home with more ripe fruit than we knew what to do with. We got enough to enjoy, share with a few neighbors and loved ones, and not overwhelm our refrigerator!
Berry-picking, which we started doing during COVID, is such a great family activity with children as young as toddlers. You can let them loose in rows of fruit plants knowing they are safe, not in danger of being hit by a car, or falling on concrete. And they are also working on their little motor skills while doing something productive for the family – and the farm!
Ivy Place is easy to find, has a spacious and easily-accessible parking area. It has a porta potty and a shaded area with picnic tables perfect for enjoying the fruit you pick, or packing a picnic lunch.
You can follow Ivy Place Farm on Instagram and Facebook to find out the latest on the berries, but they’re open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Just show up! Their address is 8525 Van Wyck Road, Lancaster, S.C.