Strawberry U-pick during the COVID-19 pandemic

Strawberry U-pick with Kids during the Pandemic
Strawberry picking at Quinn Farm

Strawberry U-pick is one of our family’s favourite summer activities and the kids are always anxiously waiting for the end of June to feast on tons of delicious local-grown strawberries.

Quinn Farm was the first farm we visited when we arrived in Montreal and we try to visit it at least once a year. It is located in a cute little town called Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot and it is only a 45-minute drive from downtown Montreal. One of the reasons we like going there is because it is highly organized and structured to receive families with small kids. They also have a shop where you can find freshly picked fruits and vegetables and lots of locally grown or made products.

Strawberry picking at Quinn Farm

The other reason why we love the strawberry season is that we can stock up and have enough strawberries for our favourite recipes. We don’t buy jam anymore, all the jam we eat at home is made with the strawberries we pick. We freeze it in small containers so we can enjoy a taste of summer all year long.

Strawberry picking at Quinn Farm

Of course that during our last visit to the shop I couldn’t leave empty-handed, so I brought home a small jar of Apple Butter,  one of Onion Confit and a Dutch Apple Pie that was still hot from the oven. They all taste delicious!!!

We were worried that due to the Pandemic all the Strawberry U-pick farms would remain closed and 2020 would be the first year without Strawberry U-pick. To make sure I was aware of any change I visited their website almost every day for the past few weeks.

Strawberry picking at Quinn Farm

I was so happy when I saw that they would be able to reopen the site (of course with a few changes). I think you’ll agree with me when I say that the pandemic has rapidly changed the individual freedoms that many of us took for granted. That’s why we do our best to teach our Little Ones to be grateful to all the little things in our life, such as a trip to the ice-cream shop followed by a stop-over at the park.

Strawberry picking at Quinn Farm

In order to disperse crowds, only people who have reserved and paid online will be permitted to pick their own strawberries. Some activities in the play yard are closed as well as the picnic areas. Visitors can take a tractor and wagon ride to the field if they choose (while respecting social distancing).

You can book your visit one their website. They open the booking calendar only 3 days in advance.

The prices are:

Admission – $8 per person (everyone 2 years and over)

4L basket – $12

2L basket – $8

A basket of fresh picked strawberries

You need to purchase at least 1 basket, as you can’t just pay for admission.

Special measures in place to make the visit safer:

  • Keep 2 meters between your family and other guests and staff;
  • Do not consume any food on site (no picnics, no sampling of fruit);
  • Do not gather or loiter anywhere on the farm;
  • Plan to only have 1 person per family enter the store;
  • Wash your hands before and after your visit;
  • Avoid touching things unnecessarily everywhere on the farm (products in the store or objects on the farm);
  • Plan on using a card and the tap option on our debit/credit terminals.

Our impression

We knew that it would be an unusual experience, very different from what we are used to. On a normal visit, we eat lots of strawberries while still in the field then we go to one of the picnic areas to have lunch. The kids go visit the farm animals and also slide on a super cool tube they have there. Since we knew that no food was permitted on site, we did not take anything with us, just a snack for the ride. And we didn’t allow them to play on the slide.

Checking the animals at Quinn Farm

It was difficult for the kids to understand that they could not eat any strawberries while we were in the field. For a couple of times the 2 older ones said that they really wanted to eat at least one strawberry. It was hard to hear that and to accept that this is our new normal. The kids patiently waited to get home and they each had a big bowl full of clean strawberries.

Overall, I think it is worth a visit. You will be able to distract a bit and will take home hundreds of delicious strawberries!

Click here to check the list with the best summer activities in Montreal.

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