Kimball Fruit Farm, located on Route 122 in Pepperell, is scheduled to begin it's PYO (pick-your-own) strawberries this weekend according to third generation owner, Carl Hills.
"We're really pleased with this year's crop," said Hills. Apparently, the cool temperature that lingered throughout springtime was well-liked by the strawberry plants, producing a high quality and taste.
The farm, nestled on 178 acres close to the New Hampshire border, has been in the family since the 1930s when it was planted to apple and peach orchards. Today, Carl and his wife Marie own and operate the original family-run farm, preserving and insuring the land is never developed through the State of Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Program.
Known for growing over 40 varieties of heirloom apples and heirloom tomatoes, including several state award winners, Kimball's also grows a large array of diverse vegetables, herbs, berries, peaches, plums and pears while practicing IPM or Integrated Pest Management, an environmentally friendly low-spray program that protects the environment and consumers.
Harvested crops are available in season at the farm stand or at one of the many farmers' markets throughout the Boston area. Selling at the markets makes up a large percentage of their business (check website for schedule and locations).
"Four acres are devoted to the strawberry crop and the season will be over by the end of the month," Hill said.
Strawberries, an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, can be used to make preserves, smoothies, added to breakfast meals, salads and are delicious au natural! They can also be frozen so don't hesitate to pick, pick and pick!
Available at the farm stand will be farm-picked strawberries for convenience along with Kimball's grown rhubarb, perfect for making a delicious pie!
Plan a fun family outing to Kimball Farm for PYO naturally sweet strawberries, open weekdays and weekends. Hills added, "It's going to be a pretty strawberry crop and much tastier!"
Kimball Fruit Farm and Stand, 184 Hollis Street (Rt. 122), Pepperell, MA (on Hollis, NH border) (978)433-9751
Farm stand hours: open daily 9 - 7 PM with a variety of fruits, vegetables and plants. Pick-Your-Own strawberries: check website for PYO conditions and directions, plus information on farmers markets at www.kimballfruitfarm.com