photos by Tyler McElhaney

Sweet Fun in the Sun

Strawberry season is here! This beloved red fruit is a favorite among San Diegans, served on plates and in recipes new and old. But for every recipe, you’ll want fresh strawberries to serve, and it doesn’t get much “fresher” than handpicked strawberries straight from the field. This season, grab your friends and family and head to one of San Diego’s strawberry farms, where you can pick as many berries as your strawberry heart desires.

Driving north on the I-5, it’s hard to miss the vast strawberry field nestled in the hills of Carlsbad off Cannon Rd. This is home to The Carlsbad Strawberry Company, who invite groups as small as a couple to as large as school groups and organizations to come pick strawberries for themselves. Venture into the field with your friends and family for a lovely summer getaway. With groups of fifteen or more, they recommend you call ahead at 760-603-9608 for more information. The fields are open Monday through Friday, and picking is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit their website for farm stand locations and directions at

Out east in Temecula is Kenny’s Strawberry Farm, where their strawberries are grown hydroponically. There’s no need to worry about dirt or mud, as the strawberries are elevated above the ground to where even small children can reach. The farm is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and you can visit their website to keep up-to-date with crop conditions at

Got your strawberries, but feeling stumped on a recipe?
Try one of the following quick and easy summer recipes:

Fruity Sundae
Add sliced strawberries in a mixing bowl with other sliced fruits, and stir with whipped cream and sprinkled sugar as desired. Top off each serving with a dab of chocolate syrup for a fruity alternative to a sundae.

Strawberry-Avocado Salsa
Combine 1 cup of chopped strawberries with a ½ cup of chopped avocados and ½ cup of chopped red bell pepper. Mix together with your choice of chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with grilled chicken or with chips.

Berry Pudding Parfait
Prepare a box of vanilla pudding according to the directions on the package. Once ready, layer individual cups with the pudding, sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, as you desire.