National Strawberry Picking Day

A smiling person wearing a straw hat, picking plump red strawberries in a picturesque strawberry field..
National strawberry picking day illustration

Strawberry lovers rejoice! It's time to put on your picking hat and indulge in the sweetest adventure of the year. National Strawberry Picking Day is a delicious celebration dedicated to all things strawberry. Get ready for a jam-packed day filled with berry delicious fun!

When is Strawberry Picking Day?

It's national strawberry picking day on the 20th May.

The Story Behind National Strawberry Picking Day

Did you know that strawberries have been enjoyed for centuries? These juicy red fruits have a long and illustrious history, dating back to ancient Rome where they were used for medicinal purposes. Fast forward to the 18th century, and people began cultivating strawberries for consumption. The strawberry picking tradition started in the 19th century when strawberry farms began to emerge, allowing people to handpick their own berries and enjoy the experience of being out in nature.

In today's digital age, where we can get almost anything delivered to our doorstep, the act of picking strawberries may seem like a novelty. However, there's something special about venturing to a strawberry farm, getting your hands dirty, and carefully selecting the plumpest, juiciest berries.

History behind the term 'Strawberry Picking'


Origins of commercial strawberry picking

Commercial strawberry picking first originated in the United States in the year 1860. As wild strawberries grew abundantly across the country, it became increasingly popular for farmers to cultivate and sell strawberries, leading to the need for labor-intensive picking methods to meet the growing demand.


The Birth of Strawberry Picking

In 1843, the term 'strawberry picking' first emerged in the agricultural communities of Europe and North America. It referred to the act of hand-selecting ripe strawberries directly from the plants. As strawberries gained popularity as a commercial crop, this term became synonymous with the seasonal activity of harvesting strawberries for personal use or sale.


The Rise of Strawberry Fairs

By 1890, strawberry picking had become a widespread tradition, and communities began organizing strawberry fairs to celebrate the bountiful harvest. These fairs provided an opportunity for people to indulge in various strawberry-themed treats, such as strawberry shortcakes, strawberry ice cream, and strawberry lemonade. Strawberry picking became an integral part of these festivities, as families and friends came together to enjoy the outdoors while gathering ripe strawberries.


Emergence of organized strawberry picking

In the year 1880, organized strawberry picking began to take shape as farmers realized the need for more efficient processes. They started hiring teams of laborers, often migrants or temporary workers, to pick strawberries from their fields. This helped speed up the process and ensure a larger harvest, enhancing the profitability of strawberry farming.


Strawberry Socials and Charity Events

During the 1930s, strawberry picking gained a philanthropic twist. Many communities started hosting strawberry socials and charity events, where individuals would gather to pick strawberries and donate the harvested fruits to those in need. These events became a way to support local food banks, orphanages, and various charitable organizations, while also fostering a sense of community and togetherness.


Rise of 'u-pick' strawberry farms

By 1900, 'u-pick' strawberry farms started to emerge in the United States. These farms allowed individuals and families to come to the fields and personally pick their desired strawberries for a fee. This concept not only provided a fun and interactive experience for the consumers but also relieved the farmers of the labor-intensive task of picking strawberries themselves.


Commercial Strawberry Farms

In the 1960s, with advancements in farming techniques and transportation, commercial strawberry farms began to flourish. Strawberry picking transformed into a popular agritourism activity, attracting visitors from far and wide. These farms offered the opportunity for visitors to experience the joys of handpicking their own strawberries straight from the fields, offering a fresh and immersive experience. Strawberry picking became not only a means of obtaining fresh produce but also a recreational activity.


Community aspects of strawberry picking

During the 1920s, strawberry picking took on a more communal aspect. Many rural communities would organize strawberry festivals or events, inviting people from neighboring towns to participate in strawberry picking activities. This fostered a sense of togetherness and celebration, making strawberry picking a social event rather than just a necessity.


Strawberry Festivals and Modern Traditions

In the 21st century, strawberry picking has evolved into a cultural phenomenon. Across multiple countries, strawberry festivals have become annual traditions, celebrating the sweet, vibrant fruit and the experience of picking it. These festivals often feature live music, entertainment, contests, and a plethora of strawberry-inspired delicacies. Strawberry picking activities cater to both children and adults, fostering a deep appreciation for nature and the joys of hands-on farming.


Mechanization and strawberry picking machines

In the 1950s, the introduction of mechanization revolutionized the strawberry picking process. Machines designed specifically for harvesting strawberries started to replace manual labor, significantly increasing efficiency. This allowed farmers to cultivate larger strawberry fields and meet the growing demand for strawberries in various industries, including food processing, confectionery, and dairy.


Continued popularity of strawberry picking

Today, strawberry picking remains a beloved seasonal activity in many countries worldwide. It is not only enjoyed by farmers as a means of livelihood but also embraced by individuals and families seeking a connection to nature and the satisfaction of picking their own fresh and delicious strawberries. Furthermore, the term 'strawberry picking' often evokes nostalgic memories and feelings of summer and abundance.

Did you know?

Did you know that strawberries are not technically berries? Nope, they are actually considered an 'accessory fruit' because their seeds are on the outside. Mind-blowing, right?


romance food fun

First identified

20th May 2015

Most mentioned on

20th May 2015

Total mentions


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