While small towns are known for many things, perhaps their greatest hallmarks are close families, long-standing traditions and good food. And in Highland County, Leesburg is no exception — especially at Barrett’s Strawberry Farm.
This year marks the farm’s 27th year. In that time, the strawberries — and memories — grown there have become a staple of the Leesburg community.
A total of three generations of Barretts are involved in the farm: Sonny and Sue Barrett, their children and their grandchildren.
“It’s fun,” Sue Barrett said, adding that, along with planting, tending and picking strawberries, the family also eats together at the farm. “(We have) a lot of crock pots.”
Sonny Barrett said “about every year,” strawberry season is followed with a family vacation.
Granddaughter Diana Barrett, who drove home from college in April to help with this year’s strawberries, also described the memories at the farm. Working with family, she said, was “such a unique opportunity. … We really got to know each other a lot.”
She said that helping with the strawberries also taught her a lot of practical skills, such as customer service.
“It’s really fun working with your family, especially something that’s so people-oriented,” she said. “Having a family work here also creates a family environment” for others when they come to the farm.
In addition to local families, the Barretts said each strawberry season, people also “come a long ways,” such as from Cincinnati and Dayton.
“It’s a treat when you live in the city to come to the country,” Sonny Barrett said.
But, according to the Barretts, the biggest treat for them is “the people.”
“We enjoy the people,” Sue Barrett said, adding that they’ve begun to see people coming to the farm who came with their parents as children and who are now coming with their own kids.
“Lots of pictures” are taken each year, Sue Barrett added, especially in front of a giant wooden strawberry, which is hung on the barn each year.
BARRETT’S STRAWBERRY FARM
11434 Fairfield Road, Leesburg
Search “Barrett’s Strawberry Farm” on Facebook
Opens between Memorial Day and the first of June, depending on the weather. It stays open for about three to four weeks, every day, from 8 a.m. until dusk.
Containers are provided.