By: Shayne Benowitz
Discover South Dade’s heartland picking strawberries at Burr’s Berry Farm.
With acres of farms and long, winding country roads, South Miami’s Goulds area is a total departure from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Miami and South Beach. It also has a fascinating history of pioneer homesteaders who moved south to farm the land and develop the agricultural industry of Miami-Dade County at the turn of the 20th century.
History of Burr's Berry Farm
One such family was the Burrs who moved to Florida from Washington D.C. in 1876. They initially settled in Jacksonville where they had an exotic flower shop, but the warmer climes of South Florida called them and they relocated to South Miami in 1896.
In 1916, Raymond Young Burr and his wife Carrie began farming in Goulds after operating a packinghouse on Old Dixie Highway where they were amongst the first to ship fresh fruits and vegetables north. Their son, Charles Raymond, was born on the farm in 1922 and served in World War II where he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. In 1960, he returned to Goulds where he planted his first crop of strawberries. Since then, he’s forever been known as the Strawberry King and Burr’s Berry Farm as one of South Florida’s top producers of delicious strawberries.
Ever the industrious one, Charles set up a fruit stand at the farm to sell his goods directly to locals. And he added a key item to the menu: ice cream. For decades, Burr’s Berry Farm has had a strong following of customers not only for their farm fresh strawberries, but also for items like strawberry milkshakes, strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcake and strawberry sundaes. Who could resist?
Visiting Burr’s Berry Farm Today
Today, the fruit stand and farm is a popular roadside attraction from December to May, when it’s open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In addition to strawberries and frozen confections, the fruit stand has a menu that includes hot dogs and nachos for a hearty lunch that can be enjoyed in their adjacent shaded garden. Some of the other sweet treats include Belgian waffles, ice cream sandwiches, homemade jams and chocolate covered strawberries.
You can also buy fresh produce, like heirloom peppers, kale, oranges, tomatoes and onions. A recent addition is a window serving fresh pressed juice for a healthy refreshment during your visit. Combinations include kale-apple-carrot, cucumber-apple-basil and apple-strawberry-lime.
Pick Your Own Berries
Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to pick your own berries on a visit to Burr’s Berry Farm. There’s nothing fresher than a sweet strawberry picked directly from the vine by you. Grab a basket and head behind the fruit stand where rows of strawberry plants await. One section of the farm is devoted to a vertical growing system, so you don’t have to bend down or get dirty to pluck the best looking berries. This area is also wheelchair friendly. For those who prefer picking strawberries the old fashioned way, you can also select your berries from the traditional rows of strawberry patches. One thing is for sure, a pit stop at Burr’s Berry Farm while visiting Goulds is an unquestionably fun (and sweet!) time for the whole family.
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