While perusing the Beaverton Farmers Market last week, I turned the corner and—be still my heart!—I was overjoyed to see the sweet little rows of Oregon strawberries lined up for sale. Oregon strawberry festivals, u-pick and farms are some of the early gifts of summer. That said, do you know your favorite type of strawberries? There’s a big strawberry world out there and the farms and markets of the Tualatin Valley—located just a few minutes from Portland—are ready to offer you a taste of Oregon’s best strawberry offerings.
For a true celebration of the little red fruit, look no further than the 52nd Annual Gales Creek Strawberry Festival (June 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The small community of Gales Creek goes big on its offerings of local strawberries. Take your strawberry-filled tummy and pink-stained fingers over to the live music and art vendor booths, as well.
For a sweet treat for your sweet dad over Father’s Day weekend, eat some strawberry shortcake at the Dixie Mountain Grange Strawberry Festival (June 16-17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Before indulging in that strawberry shortcake, we suggest a bit of a strawberry education (see below!).
A high-yielding strawberry crop known for producing large, juicy fruit that is the perfect sweetness for an everyday strawberry treat.
This strawberry is named after the county where Oregon State University is located. Known for its winter hardiness, Benton strawberries tend to be available later in the season.
An Oregonian favorite! From late May to early June, taste this Oregonian original with a steadfast following.
As our farms are located between downtown Portland and the Oregon Coast, you’ll, of course, find some Seascape strawberries. Pick up this variety at a roadside stand during your Oregon farm tour along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route.
Stock up on this variety for jam-making. The fruit’s yellow seeds provide the perfect mouth-feel for preserves.
Here is a list of our favorite places to buy and u-pick strawberries in the Greater Portland region (call ahead for varieties and availability):
- Unger Farms
- Smith Berry Barn (a strawberry milkshake is pretty much mandatory here)
- Helvetia Strawberries
- Hoffman Farms Store
- Our Table Farm
Can’t make it out to a farm? Let the farms come to you at one of our Oregon farmers markets, which are located in the charming downtowns throughout the Tualatin Valley.
Strawberry variety facts provided by local farms and The New Sunset Western Garden Book.