By Rachel Hoeing
If you are ready for some strawberry picking, I recommend Patterson Farm, located in Mount Ulla, NC. It is very close to Salisbury, which is about an hour’s drive from most Triad areas. There are numerous places to pick your own fruits around the Triad: blueberries, strawberries, and apples.
We went to Patterson Farm with my son’s first grade class and I can tell you that it was one of the most well-run field trips I have seen. The staff at Patterson Farm had everything so organized and they were great with the kids. (Of course we have to give props to the teachers, too!) This farm would be a perfect day trip for a play group or day care class this summer. Note that they are closed on Sundays.
First we watched a brief DVD in the barn, that gave the history of Patterson Farm. It also taught the children how to pick the strawberries correctly (never touch the berry, just the stem) and which strawberries to pick (no green on the berry at all). The video was short, sweet, and to the point.
We then visited the petting zoo, where the children were able to feed the animals through tubes. It was amazing to see how cute the baby turkeys were! Yes, I said baby turkeys are cute! The kids also loved the peacock. It was gorgeous.
The classes were then loaded onto wagons that drove us around the farms. We were able to see animals on this ride as well. Again, the ride was the perfect amount of time before the kids got bored or restless!
Then it was finally time for strawberry picking! Each child was able to fill a pint container with strawberries, and of course we were able to purchase larger containers if we were interested in doing so. The kids did a great job following directions and picking strawberries that were just right! I was amazed that even though a large group of children had just picked strawberries off a certain row, we could walk down that same row and still find a ton!
We then went to the playground/picnic area, which was fabulous! There were plenty of tables in the shade for us to eat lunch. The playground itself was incredible! The kids were amazed by the large pirate ship in which to play and the large sandbox type structure filled with corn! They had a blast in this area.
There was also a market with beautiful plants, flowers and produce for sale. Overall, I was highly impressed with how CLEAN and well-kept all the grounds were. The staff was sure to wash the children’s hands frequently. The bathrooms, grounds, barn, etc, were all impeccable.
You can visit their website here for additional information and directions. They also offer camps, special needs days, and many fun events throughout the year!
Patterson Farm Market & Tours, Inc.
10390 Caldwell Road
Mount Ulla, NC 28125