Picking Strawberries in Fredericksburg

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen

Published June 2013

You know how when you really don’t want to do something but you know you have to do it and then once you’ve done it, it wasn’t that bad after all? Well that was my husband a couple of weeks ago.

He didn’t mind taking a day trip to Fredericksburg with the family, but he wasn’t looking forward to the event of strawberry picking. We drove up on Saturday morning and met my family at a local restaurant for lunch.

Then we did the tourist thing; we walked up and down the streets of downtown Fredericksburg, browsing the different stores. After some candy and coffee we decided to hit the road to Marburger Orchid. My daughter Skylar and I were excited about picking strawberries. How cool is that? It’s definitely something you don’t get to do every day and it sure beats buying them in the store.

Rows and rows of strawberry plants at Marburger Orchard near Fredericksburg make picking the ripe red berries easy and fun. Photos by Lesli Nolen. When we arrived a gentleman gave us the spiel on how to remove the strawberry from the vine and which ones were the right ones to pick. We were handed a box and directed to the field. There were rows and rows of strawberries. It was beautiful. We started our picking and before too long we were half way down the row and our box glowed with red, ripe strawberries. The process didn’t take very long. Looking at both sides of the strawberry was a must before picking. One side of the strawberry might look great but the other side not—it could be blemished or unripe on that side.  In our learning course we were told to look at both sides of the strawberry for the best results, which proved to be useful.

After walking and picking from both sides of the row, our box was about full. So I stopped picking and started walking. Not my husband though! The guy who thought this was going to be boring was having a blast. He kept picking and picking. We were all at the end of our row ready to head back up to pay and depart and he’s still stopping and picking!

“There’s one!” “Oh that’s a good one.” “Look I got another one!” He kept on and on. Finally after some persistent yelling on my part, he joined us up top. We paid, washed a few strawberries and ate! They were divine; sweet and better than any strawberry I’ve ever eaten! Definitely worth it!!

Back in the car we headed to our next destination. I looked over at my husband and he was still gleaming red!  The part of day he was dreading the most turned out to be the most fun. He even talked about coming back when the peaches and blackberries are ready to be picked.

Wildseed Farms, just east of Fredericksburg, Texas, is advertised as the largest working wildflower farm in the country. It entertains 100,000 visitors between March and May of each year. Our next stop was Wildseed Farms. It is 200 acres of flowers, a store and entertainment! It is the largest working wildflower farm in the country. It’s host to an estimated 100,000 visitors between March and May each year. We walked around admiring all the wonderful colors in bloom. We took many pictures, had many “wow” moments and did lots of just soaking in the beauty.

Again, after we left Wildseed Farms my husband said that wasn’t so bad. He also said we needed to come back again—for a whole weekend!

Fredericksburg is rich in the culture of German pioneers who settled there well over 150 years ago. It’s known for its German heritage with Texas hospitality. Seated in the hill country Fredericksburg is authentic in its own right. There is shopping, dining, wineries, antiques, parks and museums; it has a little of everything. It was founded in 1846 and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. Old-time German residents often referred to the town as Fritztown, a nickname that is still used in some businesses today. The town is also home of Texas German, a dialect spoken by the first generations of German settlers who initially refused to learn English.
Since our trip we have eaten strawberries ‘til we can’t eat anymore. We have made angel food cake topped with strawberries, strawberry shortcake, strawberries with whipping cream and just plain strawberries.

With our recent rains (Praise God) the flowers that I bought at Wildseed Farms are absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to go back and neither can my husband. It just goes to show you—don’t knock a new experience until you try it!

If you would like more information on strawberry picking at Marburger Orchard or their other produce or Wildseed Farms, their websites are, www.marburgerorchard.com and www.wildseedfarms.com.

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