How and where to go berry picking in the region

Red, ripe and ready to pick — berry picking is a tasty summer tradition for many Miami Valley families.

“We go every year, in fact I just put it on my calendar,” Cara DiSalvo said. “I like the tradition of it and it’s really a lot of fun.”

DiSalvo first took her daughter McKenzie berry picking when she was just 17 months old. The now 8 ½ -year-old has been filling containers with sweet, fresh berries ever since. The fun doesn’t end when the mother-daughter duo leaves the farm as there are shortcakes and even homemade ice cream to make and – better yet — devour.

“I want to make sure she knows where her food comes from,” DiSalvo said. “I love the farm-to-table aspect of it.”

Whether it’s a longstanding family tradition or a first-time experience — berry picking and summertime go hand-in-hand. But it’s about more than good taste — it’s also about good health. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, berries are one of the healthiest foods as they are a top source of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting nutrients. Adding berries to your diet regularly can help lower the risk of health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of heart attack and boost memory.

Ready to go? Strawberry season is underway at many local berry farms with ripe, juicy berries ready to be picked and raspberries, blueberries and blackberries still to come this summer. While pick-your-own farms have long been a summer mainstay, most saw a significant increase in popularity during the pandemic — a trend that has continued at Stokes Berry Farm in Wilmington.

“A lot of people discovered it during the pandemic and realized what a fun and rewarding activity it is,” said Stephanie Stokes. “In fact, we haven’t been wholesaling the past few seasons because the demand has been so great for pick-your-own.”

Stokes has been thrilled to see a surge in the number of young families coming out to pick their own fresh-from-the-field fruit.

“One of the things we love is having the kids see firsthand where their food comes from,” Stokes said.

And while making fresh fruit pies and cobblers is a treat, it’s no match for the smiles and laughter of the families that Stokes sees in the field – some with three generations on hand.

“We had so many cute kids out here last year, it’s such a great photo op,” she said.

DiSalvo agrees.

“We do a memory book of our tradition,” she said. “It’s (berry picking) one of our favorite activities – we highly recommend it.”

Fresh fruit and family fun

Berryhill Farm

What: U-pick blueberries, raspberries and blackberries; Blueberry Festival on July 13

Where: 127 E. Krepps Road, Xenia

Info: For updates, visit the farm’s Facebook page, website ( or call 937-374-8747.

Champaign Berry Farm

What: Pick-your-own and pre-picked red and black raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries

Where: 5676 E. Ohio 29, Urbana

Info: For updates visit the farm’s Facebook page, website ( or call 937-232-7525.

Jackson’s Farm Market

What: U-pick and ready-picked strawberries

Where: 2931 U.S. 68 South, Xenia

Info: Visit the farm’s Facebook page for updates or call 937-376-1778.

Monnin’s Fruit Farm

What: Pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries

Where: 8201 Frederick Pike, Dayton

Info: Updated picking schedules are available on the farm’s Facebook page, visit the website ( or call 937-890-4536.

Once in a Blue Moon Farm

What: Blueberries

Where: 3984 E. Social Row Road, Waynesville

Info: For updates visit the farm’s Facebook page or call 937-586-8749.

Peifer Orchards

What: Blackberries, red and black raspberries

Where: 4590 U.S. 68 N, Yellow Springs

Info: Subscribe to the weekly crop report at for updates or call 937-767-2208.

Stokes Berry Farm

What: Strawberries and black raspberries

Where: 2822 Center Road, Wilmington

Info: You-pick updates available on the farm’s Facebook page, visit the website ( or call 937-317-0074.

The Homestead Berry Farm

What: Blackberries

Where: 5427 West Enon Road, Fairborn

Info: For updates, visit the farm’s Facebook page, website ( or call 937-864-1279.

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