As summer weather arrives and the temperature starts to rise, families with fruit-picking on their minds are once again ready to stroll through Springs Farm's strawberry fields.
Located on Springfield Parkway, the fields attract hordes of people from Fort Mill and surrounding areas.
The strawberry picking season began the last week of April and ends this week. It is a highlight for many families looking for a fun group activity that is sure to engage their children. Here are some of their stories:
The Thompson Family
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For the Thompson family, their excursion to the Springs Farm strawberry field was all about their 3-year-old son, Stuart.
"This was Stuart's special treat for today," Lee Thompson says of his son, who smiled as he gripped a basketful of strawberries a couple of weeks ago.
"Our older son Henry will be mad he didn't come today because he loves strawberry picking. But we'll come back next week to bring him."
Both Lee and his wife Rebecca are excited to see such a great crop this year, considering the cold snap that hit the area earlier in the month. The family, who moved Fort Mill two years ago, just missed the picking season last year and are hoping to make up for lost time.
"It's a family thing we enjoy to do," Rebecca says. "And we're just glad we got to do it before they were all gone."
The Redfearn Family
Anita Redfearn has her hands full. Between her three excited children and her multiple baskets packed to the brim with strawberries, this Charlotte native has had a busy day at the strawberry field. Helping her collect the bunches of strawberries were her son Hazel, 12, and her daughter Sjariel, 10. In fact, this has become an annual tradition for both children.
"We come here every year," Anita says as she runs after her third child, 21-month-old MJ.
"They have the best strawberries and we've been coming here for almost ten years."
Aside from eating the delicious strawberries the way they are, Anita has several other plans for the fruit she picked from the field. Eventually, she'll be using them for homemade strawberry ice cream and strawberry preserves.
"We usually get enough to last us until next season," Anita says. "We'll also be back for peach season in a few weeks."
The Lane Family
As two-year-old Sydney Lane digs through a series of strawberry plants looking for the perfect fruit, her mother Akeela is pleasantly surprised. Both Sydney and her big sister Brianna Queen, 7, have been happily plucking strawberries and filling their baskets.
This is the first time the family has ever been strawberry picking at Springs Farm.
In fact, it's the first time they've gone fruit picking altogether, so she's happy her daughters seem to be enjoying it.
Akeela, who works in medical sales, drove from Charlotte just to share this fun experience with her daughters.
She plans to eat most of the strawberries they picked, but plans to turn the rest of them into fruit smoothies.
After such a successful day, Lane says she would be open to returning.
"It has been a fun experience and we'd definitely come back," Akeela says.