» By CONOR SCRUTON – cscruton@my.apsu.edu

After finals week is over, most of us will still have some built-up stress to work off. This week, I found a perfect place to relieve some of that stress: H & S Strawberry Farms.

H & S is a family-owned farm just south of Clarksville that has grown various crops for 200 years. While they do offer pre-picked strawberries and various desserts, they also allow — and encourage — customers to go into the fields and pick their own.

Getting to H & S Farms from Clarksville can be tricky the first time, but isn’t much to worry about after that.

H & S Farms is located at 400 Seven Mile Ferry Rd., and you can get there by taking Highway 48 off Riverside Drive. Once on the highway, drive for about 7.5 miles, and Seven Mile Ferry Road will be on the left just before a small gas station and convenience store. About a mile down Seven Mile Ferry, H & S will be on the left, and you can take the gravel driveway just past the strawberry fields to reach parking.

While that may sound like a long trip, it only took me 15 minutes driving from APSU. Also, anyone uncomfortable with navigating country roads can plug H & S’s address into a GPS to find it.

H & S is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, making a trip easy to fit in around almost any schedule. As I mentioned, they do offer pre-picked strawberries for $12 a gallon, but you save $2 by picking your own. Besides, spending an afternoon picking strawberries is a lot more fun than it sounds. I’m an outdoorsy person anyway, but I was genuinely surprised when I looked at my watch and realized I had been out in the field for 40 minutes.

The farm is also very family-friendly. On weekend afternoons, you can count on seeing plenty of kids running around. H & S has picnic tables where you can relax and eat lunch, or enjoy a nice day with the strawberries you just picked.

My only warning is when picking for yourself, be wary of exactly how many strawberries fit in a gallon basket. I filled my basket to bursting, basically, and when I got home I filled up five small containers and still had strawberries to spare. Needless to say, my roommate and I will be living off H & S strawberries until the end of finals week.

For more information, you can check out the H & S Farms Facebook page. The farm is typically open through the end of May, though you may want to make a trip while spring is still in the air. A warm March made for an early crop this year, so it’s in your best interest to go while the best strawberries are still unpicked. TAS