There is nothing better than eating a fresh strawberry except maybe picking your own strawberries to enjoy later. Courtesy Photo

AVONMORE – For many people in this country the start of strawberry season heralds the beginning of summer. Whether you pick your own berries or buy a pre-picked basket, the taste of Canadian grown berries is something worth waiting for.

Earlier this year, Avonmore Berry Farm (ABF), owned and operated by the Phillips family, learned it had been chosen by the Food Network as one of “The 10 Best Places in Canada for Strawberry Picking.” 

“We were honoured” said Pam Phillips who, with son Andrew, daughter-in-law Laura, and daughter Megan, continue to run the popular fruit and vegetable farm on the outskirts of Avonmore. 

Pam explained how they had been contacted by the Food Network, been interviewed in Fall of 2023 and were advised of their being selected in May 2024.  Laura mentioned how the family had been advised by a customer the same day the family received email notification from the Food Network.

Pam explained the farm was purchased in 1981 Duncan Phillips and his wife Lillian in initially providing customers with strawberries.  She continued how her late husband David, their son, was a catalyst for expanding the farm to include the selling of selected varieties of vegetables including sweet corn and pumpkins with an apple orchard added shortly after their marriage. 

The family friendly farm provides the opportunity to purchase already picked strawberries or pick your own strawberries during the season, followed by a variety of in season vegetables, raspberries, corn, apples and pumpkins.  

The onsite bakery, which continues to use Lillian’s recipes, was begun by Lillian making biscuits for people to use in the making of strawberry shortcake, provides a selection of baked goods including pies, muffins and biscuits. 

In addition to providing youngsters with the opportunity to pick strawberries, apples or pumpkins with their family, there is a playground and the opportunity to play in a hay mow with adult supervision.

“Our community has always been supportive of our various endeavours” commented Megan. Over the years the Avonmore Berry Farm and the Phillips family have hosted several events, including the “Run the Farm” race which is a fundraiser for Pulmonary Fibrosis. This year the event is being held on Aug. 17, with more information available on Facebook as the event draws closer.

Pam shared how the family really look forward to spring start up on the farm, calling the farm “a real labour of love.”  The season lasts from mid-June to Halloween with a series of fruits and vegetables for customers.  She noted how the pick your own strawberry seasons lasts between the middle of June until the first week of July, but the everbearing variety of strawberries available as already picked can be harvested until the first frost.

People are suggested to visit their Facebook page, which is updated constantly, for the most current information.