Summer is right around the corner, and one of the sweetest parts of the season is back here on the SouthCoast.

Keith's Farm and Orchard in Acushnet kicked off its u-pick strawberry season over the long holiday weekend, offering folks of all ages the chance to pick their own fruit and get in the summer spirit.

The long-time family-owned farm, located at 1149 Main Street in Acushnet, has been in the SouthCoast community for more than fifty years, and after COVID kept its annual Christmas tree farm from opening last year, owner Sue Santos said it's good to be back for strawberry season.

Keith's Farm's strawberry fields are currently open for picking from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Santos said the season typically lasts through June, but is, as always, completely dependent on the weather, so when you see a nice day for picking, get out and take advantage of it!

Strawberry picking is one of those activities that's pretty accessible no matter how old you are. Kids can even help out with the picking fun! But for those that may be visiting Keith's fields for the first time, the farm has a couple tips and tricks for getting the most out of your experience. You'll want to pick plump, firm and fully-red strawberries, grabbing the stem right above the berry, pulling and twisting just slightly. Then, place your berries into your container, but avoid throwing them so you don't bruise or squish them in the process.

Bonus tip from Keith's: As cool as it is to collect the biggest berries in the field, the smaller strawberries tend to have more flavor.

Cheers to strawberry season here on the SouthCoast, and happy picking!

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