CHESTERLAND, Ohio (WJW) — There’s nothing quite like the delicious freshness of picking your own strawberries right here in Northeast Ohio.

Pick your own strawberries season starts the middle of next week at most local farms.

Bill Patterson who owns Patterson’s Fruit Farm in Geauga County’s Chesterland said they’ll check their seven-acre strawberry field every day to ensure picking the perfect day to start the season for ensuring the tastiest strawberries.

He added that peak strawberry season usually starts around June 8 and lasts about two weeks which means strawberry picking season would wrap up around June 22.

“We’ll post on our website next week exactly which day we’ll open our strawberry farm for picking your own strawberries,” Patterson said.

Patterson said due to the lack of rain since mid-May they’re using a highly unusual amount of irrigation to water the strawberries because they have shallow roots.

However, he advises that once strawberries are picked, you don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them to ensure freshness and the most flavor.

“Washing strawberries before you’re ready to eat them takes away the fruit’s natural protection that keeps the peak flavor locked inside the strawberry,” Patterson said.

He also said refrigerating strawberries is better than leaving them on the kitchen counter because they’ll last longer, although the sooner you eat the strawberries the better they’ll taste.

When the farm opens, you can pick your own strawberries between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. seven days a week during the two-week season.

Patterson said picking strawberries is free on their farm and that you pay by the pound.