Ultimate Guide to Strawberry Picking Around Birmingham


Strawberry season has hit Birmingham, which means now’s the time to get your hands on the freshest, most delicious strawberries of the year! Whether you prefer to grab a pre-picked basket or make it a memorable u-pick experience with the kids, we have some ideas for you. Below you’ll find a list of Birmingham’s closest U-Pick Strawberry Farms, recipes for your freshly picked berries, and fun festivals.

strawberry picking in BirminghamStrawberry Farms Near Birmingham

Penton Farms

Sugar Hill U-Pick

3358 County Road 59
Verbena, Alabama 36091

Penton Farms is a fourth-generation family-owned farm in Verbena, Alabama, about 45 minutes south of Birmingham. Penton Farms does more than just strawberries—they have other fruits and veggies for sale, too. There is also a playground and lots of open space for kids to let loose all of their pent-up energy! U-Pick strawberries are $12 per gallon bucket and pre-picked berries are $13 per gallon bucket. They are open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. They are closed on Sundays. Check their Facebook page for weather-related and other updates prior to your visit!

Jerry Marsh Farms

234 Marsh Cutoff Rd.
Cleveland, AL 35049

Jerry Marsh Farms is located in Cleveland, about 45 minutes northeast of Birmingham. This year, their u-pick season opens April 1st, and gallon buckets are $12 for u-pick and $15 for pre-picked berries. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They are closed on Sundays. They accept cash and checks only, no credit or debit cards. Check their Facebook page for weather closures before your visit! 

DeLoach Farms

171 Co Rd 468
Vincent, AL 35178

DeLoach Farms is located in East Shelby County, and they now have a u-pick strawberry option! The farm has been around since 1820, and their website has more information about their history. Their 2024 season will likely start the first weekend in April. They post updates on their Facebook page and also have a newsletter where they announce special events and offers. Their hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. They accept cash, Venmo, and credit cards.

J Durbin Farms

Sunshine Farms U-Pick Strawberry Field

11728 County Road 37
Clanton, AL 35045
(205) 280-0242

Sunshine Farms U-Pick Strawberry Field is located in Clanton, about an hour south of Birmingham, and their strawberry field has been in operation since 1990. They will be open for u-pick this year around the second weekend of April. They also offer pre-picked strawberries with a curbside pick-up option. Their hours are 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. When they open for the season or if they run out of strawberries for the day, they’ll post it on Facebook, so keep an eye on their page before planning your visit! They accept cash only. 

If you want to get the most out of this strawberry season, be sure to read these easy preservation strategies!

Easy At-Home Strawberry Preservation

1. Vinegar + Glass Container

Once you bring your delicious strawberries home, soak them for two to five minutes in a mixture of one part distilled white vinegar to three parts water. Rinse them off then let them dry completely. You can pat them with a paper towel and leave them to dry on the counter, or use a salad spinner to speed up the drying process. Once they have completely dried, store them in the refrigerator in a large glass mason jar with a paper towel at the bottom. This should help prolong the life of your strawberries for fresh eating! 

2. Freeze

This is, by far, the simplest way to preserve your strawberries. We love using frozen strawberries for smoothies and to flavor our homemade milk kefir. Just wash your berries, chop the tops off (don’t throw them away just yet!), and store them in a freezer-safe, zip-top bag in the freezer. You can freeze them whole or cut them into halves or even smaller. These should remain fresh for about six months. 


If you have the space (and time), flash-freeze your strawberries by placing them on a tray lined with parchment paper (without touching!) before putting them in your freezer. After about four hours, pull them out and store in your zip-top bag. This will prevent them from sticking together. You can do this in small batches if you don’t have a ton of extra freezer space. Alternatively, try portioning out your strawberries into smaller freezer bags if you plan to thaw them later for a specific recipe. 

3. Strawberry Top Syrup

After you’ve chopped the tops off your strawberries, use your scraps (greens and all!) to make strawberry top syrup. I adapted the recipe below from this recipe here.

  • 4 cups strawberry tops (with greens)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Add your strawberry tops, sugar, and water to a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil then allow to simmer for 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove the pot, strain the strawberry tops using a mesh strainer, then return the remaining liquid to the pot.
  4. Bring back up to a boil then simmer for about 35 minutes until reduced.
  5. Allow to cool, then add one tablespoon of vanilla extract.
  6. Stir, bottle, and store in the refrigerator. 

The addition of vanilla extract really elevates the flavor, and it should thicken up even more after sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours. This simple syrup makes a lovely topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, you name it! Personally, my new favorite way to use it is in strawberry kombucha Italian soda, which is incredibly refreshing and full of probiotics. The possibilities are endless! 

4. Strawberry Jam

Who doesn’t love a good PB&J? If you haven’t tried making your own jam before, it’s actually a lot easier than you may think! For longer-term storage, you can choose to either water-bath can your jam (which will make it shelf-stable), or you can make freezer jam.

I’ve scrolled through loads of strawberry jam recipes on Pinterest. There are recipes that use pectin and recipes that don’t; recipes that use five pounds of sugar (yes you read that right!) and recipes with reduced sugar. I suggest first deciding whether you want to can or freeze your jam, then choose a recipe that appeals to you. 

Water-Bath Canning 101

If you are new to water-bath canning, it’s really just a fancy term for boiling glass jars in water on the stove. You’ll need a large stock pot – one that’s deep enough for your jars to fit in. For jam, I like to use half-pint (eight-ounce) mason jars. I’ve also found it extremely helpful to have certain canning supplies like a stainless steel canning rack, canning funnel, magnetic lid lifter, and jar lifter. There are inexpensive canning supply starter kits available on Amazon that come with these tools and more. 

Once you find a recipe you like, follow those instructions to water-bath can your jam. The recipe should include the amount of time to boil your jars depending on jar size. For best results, plan to process and can your jam in one sitting. You’ll want your filled jars of jam to still be warm when they go into your water bath. Be sure to leave the appropriate amount of headspace (which just means the amount of space left between the top of your jar and your jam). 

Looking for more strawberry-themed fun?

Strawberry Festivals Near Birmingham

Here is a list of upcoming strawberry festivals within driving distance from Birmingham. For even more activities for every day of the week, be sure to check out our monthly events calendar!

Miss Alabama Strawberry Festival Pageant

Saturday, April 13, 2024 starting at 10:00 am
Cullman, AL 
More info 

Ross Bridge Farmers Market Strawberry Day Market

Friday, April 19, 2024 from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Hoover, AL
More info

Calera Strawberry Festival

Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Calera, AL 
More info

Chilton County Strawberry Festival

Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 9:00 am5:00 pm
Thorsby, AL
More info

2024 Alabama Strawberry Festival 

Friday and Saturday, May 3 – 4, 2024 from 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Cullman, AL
More info

If you enjoy time in nature, you might enjoy this Guide to the Best Places to Get Outside with Kids in Birmingham.

The Best Places to Get Outside with Kids in Birmingham

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Kristina W
Kristina was BMC's Social Media Manager for just over a year beginning in 2022, and also managed the BMC Calendar and Event Guides. In August 2023, she began tutoring her oldest son's class in a Classical Conversations Homeschool Community, but is excited to be back with BMC as a contributing writer! Kristina was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and moved to the Birmingham area at the end of 2019. She and her husband, Landon, always dreamed of one day owning land and living out in the country (especially after having two active little boys!). In 2023, they were blessed with the opportunity to purchase some acreage in Central Alabama, and have slowly begun working on their future homestead. In the meantime, Kristina has worked on learning various homesteading skills like baking sourdough, keeping various ferments alive, seed starting, and more! She loves sharing what she's learned in hopes of inspiring other moms to try out new skills. You can follow along with her homesteading adventures on Instagram at @raisingarrowsfarmstead


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