When looking for the first signs of spring, some folks point to early flowers—blooming peach and cherry trees, daffodils, hyacinths, and the lot. For me? The first fresh-picked, perfectly ripe Alabama strawberries mark the transition from dreary winter to the bounty of spring and summer.

From south to north, strawberry plants are now in full flower, some producing their first fruits of the season. Starting in late March, U-pick farms will open to the public. Some seasonal farmer markets also crank up because it’s strawberry season. Desserts featuring crimson berries from Cullman County farmer Trent Boyd and others will start appearing on restaurant menus by April.

Local strawberry-themed fairs and festivals pick up when the season is at its peak, starting with the Baldwin County Strawberry Festival in Loxley on Saturday, April 13. At markets, Alabama strawberries should be available into June.

Cullman County is, historically speaking, the state’s strawberry capital. Since the late 1800s, it has been one of the county’s primary cash crops. Even the water tower in the county seat, Cullman, was built to resemble a strawberry.

Cullman’s first fest honoring the fruit, then called the Strawberry Jubilee and Spring Carnival, dates to 1905. The city’s current Strawberry Day has been celebrated since 1939 and was officially ratified by Governor Kay Ivey in 2023 as the Alabama Strawberry Festival.

But the Conecuh County town of Castleberry also lays claim, politically speaking, as the Strawberry Capital of Alabama. That title was officially conferred in 1987 by then-Governor Guy Hunt (who, oddly enough, was from Cullman County).

Here are some U-pick farms to check out, and projected opening dates as the plants mature from south to north. A list of strawberry festivals follows.


Strawberry Farms

Aplin Farms (Dothan)

Projected opening: March 17 or 18

Address: 2729 North County Road 49 (between Dothan and Slocomb)


Sugar Hill U-Pick Farms (Verbena)

Projected opening: Mid-March

Address: 812 County Road 445


Sunshine Farms (Chilton County)

Projected opening: First week in April

Address: 3233 County Road 30


Jerry Marsh Farms (Blount County)

Projected opening: First or second week in April

Address: 234 Marsh Cut Off Road, Cleveland


Grandview Mountain Strawberry Farm (Cullman County)

Projected opening: Early April

Address: 1394 County Road 803, Cullman


Strawberry Festivals

Baldwin County Strawberry Festival (Loxley)

April 13-14, Loxley Municipal Park


Strawberry Day (Hoover)

April 19, Ross Bridge Farmers Market


Calera Strawberry Festival (Calera)

April 20, Oliver Park


Berry Heritage Festival (Berry)

April 26-27, Downtown Berry


Chilton County Strawberry Festival (Thorsby)

April 27, Richard H. Wood Memorial Park


Alabama Strawberry Festival (Cullman)

May 3-4, 309 First Avenue Northeast


Strawberry Festival (Moulton)

May 3-4, Lions Club Fairgrounds


Castleberry Strawberry Festival (Castleberry)

April 20, Downtown Castleberry