U-Pick strawberries and Marineau farm: A perfect day right near the big city
The U-pick strawberry business at Ferme Marineau is very popular, and we take great pleasure in seeing familiar faces and welcoming new visitors every summer. Since 1990, from mid-June to mid-July, thousands of people walk through our fields on Boulevard Dagenais in Laval to pick our delicious strawberries. We select the best varieties according to our soil type and tastes, so that we can obtain beautiful red fruits that are full of flavour and texture.
Because we are located in an urban area, it’s quick and easy to get there by car or public transit. To make your visit even more enjoyable, we have a playground with a chicken coop, an artisanal ice cream stand, several picnic areas and a fruit-and- vegetable kiosk where we also offer our home-grown products. If you don’t feel like picking your own strawberries, you can also buy fresh ones picked that day.
To help you plan your day, we’ve put together a list of relevant information that should answer most of your questions.
What do I do when I get there?
a) Go to the “U-pick” area at the end of the first parking lot.
b) Access to the site is free, but in order to pick your strawberries, you have to purchase at least one empty 4-litre basket. This basket can be filled by one or two people aged 7 or over. Please don’t bring any other container to our fields.
c) Debit and credit cards, as well as cash, are accepted. If you need to purchase an additional basket while you are picking, only cash is accepted.
Where are the U-pick strawberry fields located and how do I get there?
To get to the strawberry fields, we invite you to enjoy a walk through nature along a path for about 500 m. Since it’s a gravel and dirt path, child strollers and carts with large wheels are preferable. We also recommend that you wear good shoes or rain boots if you visit on or after a rainy day. No carts or strollers are allowed in the strawberry fields. A baby carrier may be practical if you have very young children. If you don’t have your own cart, we do have a few available that you can borrow; however, quantities are limited.
What’s the right way to pick strawberries?
At the U-pick site, a manager will assign you a specific area to pick. It’s important to follow their instructions because we choose the best rows each day according to the ripeness of the fruit. Strawberries hide under the foliage to protect themselves from the heat, so you have to lift the leaves to get to the good ones.
Is strawberry picking suitable for young children?
Kids love picking strawberries. As a parent, you’re the best person to judge whether your child is able to participate. Out of respect for those around you and the condition of our fields, running through the rows of strawberries is prohibited. If you’re coming with a very young child, don’t forget to bring a baby carrier.
Can I bring a picnic?
You can picnic at various locations on site, both in our playground area and in the fields. And afterwards, why not treat yourself to a delicious ice cream treat made from our crops? Our artisanal ice cream stand is a true oasis in summer. If you haven’t brought a meal, we sell fresh fruits and vegetables as well as baked goods, such as cold pizzas, cookies, breads and pies at our farm stand.
Can I bring my dog?
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on our site.
Can I pick strawberries when it’s raining?
How to eat and store your strawberries
Once strawberries are picked, they should quickly be put in a cool place, as they don’t like heat. You can keep them fresh for two to three days in the refrigerator. It’s recommended that you rinse them before hulling them to prevent them from becoming too watery and losing their flavour.
If you want to freeze some, rinse and hull the strawberries, then spread them out on a tray and freeze them. Once they’re completely frozen, remove them from the tray and place them in a container or freezer bag. They’ll easily keep until next season… if you’ve managed not to eat them all!