5 Pittsburgh-area farms where families can pick berries, cherries and more this summer

Photo above courtesy of Trax Farms.

Visiting Pittsburgh’s pick-your-own farms to harvest buckets of strawberries and blueberries has become a family tradition for many and berry-picking season is here once again!

Pick-your-own season begins with strawberries, followed by blueberries and other delicious fruit as the summer continues. This spring’s weather wasn’t kind to strawberry crops, so some farms aren’t offering strawberry-picking this year or only had them available very briefly. But there are a great many other fruits and vegetables available, along with fresh flowers.

Details and exact dates/times vary, so check out our guide below for info, and do call ahead or check websites (we’ve got all that info below) before strapping the kids into their car seats to ensure a happy outing.

Here’s what you’ll find in the Pittsburgh region:

Photo courtesy of Triple B Farms.

1. Triple B Farms, 823 Berry Lane, Monongahela

Strawberry-picking season is going quickly at Triple B Farms, and you can pick fresh lavender, too (9 a.m. to 2pm daily for both). And Pop’s FunYard at Triple B is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Black raspberries usually run from mid-June through July, with blueberries ready to pick from late June through July. Reach for plump peaches in late summer and apples by September.

And along with the fragrant lavender, the season for pick-your-own flowers usually runs from July through October, including zinnias, cosmos, celosia, ageratum, rudbeckia and sunflowers.

Don’t miss other fresh produce available in Triple B’s farm market, where you can cool off with a Lavender Lemonade Slushie after your pick-your-own experience. You can also visit the Bee Barn, where a Plexiglas window allows visual access to the inner workings of a beehive, and play as human game pieces in a giant farm-themed board game. You’ll also find hillside tunnels and tube slides named after the Liberty and Squirrel Hill tunnels. The Rompin’ Rope Maze helps burn off energy. And everyone loves the farm animals, including pygmy goats, chickens, rabbits and a potbellied pig.

Get text notifications of harvest updates, promos and family fun by texting the word “TripleB” to 866-933-1117. You can also call 724-258-3557 or check their Facebook page before heading out.

2. Trax Farms, 528 Trax Rd. Finleyville

Berry picking is happening Trax Farms in Finleyville, which is open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Depending on weather and fruit availability, decisions on opening the fields to pickers are made day-to-day. Before heading out, call 412-835-3246 or check the Trax website and Facebook page for more updates and announcements. Watch the calendar for other events throughout the season, including the upcoming “A Day in the Country” concert on July 13.

You can also buy strawberry plants to bring home and maybe even enjoy a strawberry slushie at the farm’s Greenhouse Cafe. And the property offers an Antique Loft (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for grown-up shoppers, plus an indoor and outdoor nursery, top-notch produce market, bakery, wine shop and gift shop. Kids are not forgotten here — the children’s selection of books, decorations, and other items is outstanding.

3. Simmons Farm, 170 Simmons Road, McMurray

The season for strawberry picking went extra-fast this year at Simmons Farm, thanks to especially heavy spring rains. But there is so much deliciousness to come, plus gorgeous flowers.

Families can visit for flower picking beginning on July 13, with peak blooms due to be available after July 4. From sunflowers to wildflowers, you can pay a flat rate and kids will get a bucket and scissors to fill with as many stems as they can fit. You can also stop by the farm market for trays of flowers and hanging flower baskets, plus produce, Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays through Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Peaches should be available for picking by mid-July and then apples should ripen beginning in mid-August. Call ahead for specific availability (724-941-1490) or check their website or Facebook page

You can even bring a picnic lunch and make a family day trip of your farm outing. Kids will love the free petting zoo that’s open during market hours. And if your little ones love the farm, keep in mind: Simmons is available for birthday parties.

Photo courtesy of Soergel Orchards.

4. Soergel Orchards, Wexford

Soergel Orchards has been hosting local families for pick-your-own farm visits for three decades. Just like at the other farms, strawberry picking went fast and is already finished at Soergels this year. But fat blueberries will be ready for plucking from the bushes soon, followed by apples and pumpkins in September and October. Watch for Facebook or the Soergels website for exact dates.

Along with the fun of picking (and eating!) fresh fruit, kids love Soergel’s because they can explore Tiny Town and a farm animal petting zoo. And don’t miss Soergel’s Scoops, where they can enjoy Perry’s Ice Cream with flavors like Graham Canyon, Brownie Batter and Super Hero.

Photo courtesy of Norman’s Orchard.

5. Norman’s Orchard, Frazer Township

The Norman family started production at their farm in 1958, eventually specializing in the heirloom fruit for which Norman’s Orchard is known. Even though this Frazer Township farm doesn’t specialize in kid-focused attractions, families flock to Norman’s for its unique specialty fruit that can’t be found in stores.

Tart cherries and sweet cherries are ready for picking (cherry season lasts only about two weeks, it might be good to visit this weekend). And a bumper crop of blueberries is likely to be available from the end of June through the end of July, as are cooking apples. Then pears – seckel, lincoln, anjou and bosc, among others – should be ripe for picking from sometime mid-August through September. The many unusual varieties of apples (more than two dozen!) are available at varying times from August through October.

Norman’s is also the only local pick-your-own farm in the Pittsburgh area that offers grapes (from mid-August to early September). Check the season chart for availability and their Facebook page for up-to-date alerts or call ahead at 724-224-9491. Note: This farm operates on a cash-only basis and isn’t open on Mondays.