When you have a toddler, who can put away over a pound of strawberries in one sitting (yeah, that’s a fun diaper change), you can appreciate the idea of picking your own fresh berries by the bucket. Not only is it economical, but it’s a great way to teach your kids that food doesn’t originate from the grocery store. So we packed up the kids and headed for the border to Thompson Strawberry Farm, on Highway 50 just west of I-94 in Bristol, Wisconsin. This was our first foray into strawberry picking!
Thompson Strawberry Farm is a fourth generation family farm that offers “Pick-Your-Own” strawberries, raspberries and pumpkins in season. It’s strictly picking here, without the other family attractions other farms can claim; however, if you like simplicity then this one’s for you. With two kids in diapers (yes, I’m mentioning diapers again – could I be bitter?) sometimes you benefit from less stimulation. Some of you may even save enough energy to hit the nearby outlet mall afterward!
Upon arrival, you’ll be directed to drive out to the big trailer in the middle of the strawberry fields to pick up your baskets. Then start picking! Despite the rain that week we were pleasantly surprised to find the fields dry and the rows lined with fresh straw. We had brought along our rubber boots just in case, but they were not needed.
Once you’ve picked your fill, carry your bounty back to your car. You pay for your harvest on the drive out. Keep your baskets and bring them back on your next trip to save $0.25 per basket. Pile those baskets high with berries, as a marginally full basket, costs you just as much as an overflowing basket.
Despite a big crowd that Saturday, the experience was not overwhelming and was very convenient. We were in and out easily. Our children’s young age and the bright sun that day wouldn’t have afforded a longer visit, but if you plan on taking your time there’s a cart available for snack purchases. Bring a floppy hat and sunscreen too.
Strawberry Season only lasts 3-4 weeks, so we are already in the tail end of the season. Be sure to go online for picking conditions. If you plan to visit Thompson Strawberry Farm this week, it’s best to wait till later in the week so the plants can recover from the large weekend crowds.
Thompson Strawberry Farm
Hwy 50, west of I-94 / 5 miles north of IL/WI border
1400 – 75th Street, Bristol, WI 53104 | (262) 857-2353
Cash or Check Only
See website for current conditions, hours and pricing.
For more strawberry adventures, see our guide to strawberry picking in and around Lake County!