Most folks love an unseasonally warm winter. Not so for local strawberry farmers.
The record-breaking warm winter prevented the strawberry plants from setting flowers and future fruit. However, the return of cold weather helped stimulate with eventual new flowers for fruit. Now the warm weather and sunshine is helping to produce plentiful berries with peak season rapidly approaching. Better late than never.
Oak Haven Farms & Winery, a family-owned, local U-Pick strawberry farm, has seven acres of their twenty-acre farm available for picking. Priced at $2.75 a pound, visitors can pick rows of berries, then head inside where fresh strawberry milkshakes and shortcake are made on weekends.
Karen & Harry Stauderman, along with their daughter Lynn, have owned the farm and for twenty years. Strawberries have been available for nineteen years, and six years ago they added a vineyard for making local wines.
The farm is family-friendly and features an obstacle course, playground, short zip line, as well as a hayride on weekends.
Vistiors should call 352-735-1996 in advance of U-pick days due to varying availability. Oak Haven Farms is located at 32418 Avington Road. Weekend hours are Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 11-5.
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