Few things say summer like fresh fruit and vegetables grown in local farm fields. And area farmers are making sure customers looking for their products this summer are kept safe.
Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry is among several in the area opening its doors to offer fresh fruit and vegetables, including popular pick-your-own options at the High Range Road farm.
The people at Sunnycrest are working to keep customers at a safe distance from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They ask that as the pick-your-own season moves forward, people check in and use the farm's containers for the berries they pick.
Madison Hicks, a fourth-generation family member at Sunnycrest, said people were very excited to be out and about to start picking strawberries.
"But it's difficult, no one has ever been through this before," she said.
People also were asked to maintain safe distancing with several rows of berries marked off between them, Hicks said.
"And most people were wearing masks," she said, adding Sunnycrest staff also wear masks.
Hicks said for strawberry season the pick-your-own prospect was so popular that they were pretty much done in only a few short days.
Cherry season is underway and blueberries will follow, with a lot of people coming out to enjoy the warm days in the sun.
The farm also offers a stand full of produce, seasonal items, gifts and plenty of baked goods.
J & F Farms in Derry dates back more than a century. It is a family-owned farm that also offers a popular pick-your-own crop of strawberries, along with hay rides, an outdoor petting area, and plenty of seasonal vegetables, fruits, beef, cheese, dairy products and other summer offerings for all to enjoy.
As part of making sure customers remain safe, J & F also put some guidelines in place for those picking strawberries this season, including a specific check-in area at the farm stand on Chester Road, and also making sure reusable containers were not used for the fruit.