5 pick-your-own farms to visit for berries, cherries and even flowers

Photo above courtesy of Soergel’s. The story below was updated for the summer of 2022. 

Visiting Pittsburgh’s pick-your-own farms to harvest buckets of strawberries and blueberries has become a family tradition that transcends generations. It was interrupted by COVID in 2020 and not all locations welcomed folks for picking last year. But with the pandemic more under control, pick-your-own is very much available this year.

Farmers remind visitors that dates and times are subject to weather and fruit availability. Call ahead or check websites before strapping the kids into their car seats to ensure a happy outing.

pick-your-own farms
Image courtesy of Simmons Farms.

1. Simmons Farm, 170 Simmons Road McMurray, PA

You can pick the rainbow at Simmons Farm, where pick-your-own crops cover the season with strawberries, peaches, apples and pumpkins. Right now, strawberries are in season and flower picking is in full swing. 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. Tentative hours are 9 a.m.-noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with evening hours from 5-8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Weekend picking runs from 10 a.m.-noon. But Simmons advises that folks always call ahead to (724-941-1490) or check their website or Facebook page to confirm what’s available on a given day.

A free hayride will carry you and your little ones to the fields. And as the growing season progresses, look for aromatic peach picking, followed by crunchy ripe apples by September. 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.

pick-your-own farms
Photo courtesy of Triple B Farms.

2. Triple B Farms, 823 Berry Lane, Monongahela, PA

Strawberry picking at Triple B Farms runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Along with delicious strawberries and blueberries you can pick beautiful flowers (zinnias, cosmos, celosia, ageratum, rudebeckia and sunflowers) at Triple B. Just be sure to check their Facebook page or call before heading out. Blueberries are just on the verge of ripeness, according to the website. And you can reach for plump peaches in late summer and apples by September.

Purchase wristbands ($6, free for ages 2 and younger) in advance to access Pop’s FunYard, which is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. And visit the Bee Barn, where a Plexiglas window allows visual access to the inner workings of a beehive. The entire family acts as game pieces in a giant farm-themed board game. You’ll 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.

Photo courtesy of Trax Farms.

3. Trax Farms, 528 Trax Rd. Finleyville, PA

It’s the season for picking your own blueberries at Trax Farms in Finleyville. Most every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon the fields are open, depending on weather and fruit availability. Decisions on opening the fields to pickers are made day-to-day. So 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 Sunflower Festival on Aug. 13.

The property offers interest for grown-up shoppers with its Antique Loft, 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.

4. Soergel Orchards

Soergel Orchards’ pick-your-own farm visits started about 30 years ago. The Soergel family welcomes little pickers to their Wexford berry fields for blueberry picking in July and August, followed by apples and pumpkins in September. Pick-your-own pricing for 2022 is $5 for pints and $8 for quarts, with both cash and cards accepted. Along with the fun of picking (and eating!) fresh fruit, kids love Soergel’s because they can explore Tiny Town and a petting zoo, and especially Soergrel’s Scoops where they can enjoy Perry’s ice cream.

Photo courtesy of Norman’s Orchard.

5. Norman’s Orchard

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 Frazier Township farm lacks kid-focused attractions, families flock to Norman’s for its unique specialty fruit that can’t be found in stores.

Blueberries are likely to be available through the end of July, as are cooking apples. Then pears – seckel, Lincoln, Anjou, Bosc, among others – ripen for picking mid-August through September. The many unusual varieties of apples – more than two dozen — are available at varying times from August through October. And Norman’s is 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 call ahead at 724-224-9491. Note: The farm operates on a cash-only basis.