Strawberry pickers flock to Pallman Farms for first day of picking season

June 17th, 2015 4:27 pm

Charlotte Statsman, 14 months old, of South Abington Township, tastes a strawberry fresh off a plant at Pallman Farms, Clarks Summit, on opening day of picking season, Wednesday, June 17.
Rory Baskin, 5, of Carbondale, pops a strawberry in her mouth while picking the fruit with her family on opening day at Pallman Farms in Clarks Summit.
Ethan Baskin, 4, of Carbondale, searches for the perfect strawberries to pick at Pallman Farms, Clarks Summit.
Flag in hand to mark the end of her row, Lexy Baskin, 7, of Carbondale, fills a bucket with strawberries on the first day of picking season at Pallman Farms, Clarks Summit.
Laurie Valenta and Briseus Shupp, both of Olyphant, ride a wagon from the Parking lot to the you-pick strawberry fields at Pallman Farms.
Waiting for a wagon ride back down to the barn after filling their buckets with strawberries on the opening day of picking season at Pallman Farms in Clarks Summit, from left, Daniel Caleb, visiting town from London and Gabe Caleb, 3; Amanda Caleb; Chris Caleb and Ella Caleb, 3, all of Dallas Township.
Pallman Farms, 1511 Summit Lake Road, Clarks Summit opened for strawberry picking Wednesday, June 17.

CLARKS SUMMIT — With a temperature around 70 degrees, a slight breeze and partly sunny sky, the morning and afternoon of Wednesday, June 17 provided perfect weather for Pallman Farms’ opening day of you-pick strawberries season, according to fifth-generation farmer Craig Pallman.

The parking lot, barn and strawberry fields saw a constant flow of activity throughout the day, which Pallman said his family business was expecting and prepared for. The phones, he said, were “ringing off the walls” since the first of the month, with people anxious to know when the strawberries would be ready to pick.

Traditionally, the farm opens for strawberry picking anywhere between June 10 and 20. He said this year’s season follows a hard winter and slow spring, but those factors didn’t seem to affect the crop.

“The berries themselves are probably as good as we’ve seen,” he said.

Those who came out to pick the fruit seemed to agree — especially the youngsters whose red juice-covered faces suggested they ate more than they placed in their buckets.

When one strawberry picker, Amanda Caleb, of Dallas Township, was asked what she most enjoys about taking her family strawberry picking, she replied, “This face,” pointing to a smiling three-and-a-half-year-old Gabe Caleb’s strawberry-covered cheeks and chin.

She said she comes for the kids, Gabe and his twin sister Ella, and they come for the strawberries.

Juliana Piccini, of Greenfield Township and Ruth Davis, of Scott Township said they’ve been picking strawberries at Pallman Farms for more than 10 years. Piccini said she makes strawberry jelly out them. Davis said she used to do the same, but now freezes them for eating later.

Heather Statsman, of South Abington Township, said her family simply enjoys eating the strawberries they bring home from the farm.

“We literally just eat them,” she said. “We eat them all week. It’s a healthy snack.”

The farm’s you-pick strawberry fields are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The season typically lasts about three weeks. The farm is closed during thunderstorms and severe weather conditions. More information about the you-pick strawberries can be obtained by calling 570-587-3258 and weather updates are posted regularly to the Farm’s Facebook page.