It’s strawberry picking time! Remember going out as a kid to pick strawberries? If you were from Youngstown and surrounding areas, there is a good chance you went to White House Fruit Farm near Canfield to pick. Remember the old wooden strawberry containers? Remember eating as much as you picked? Then you got home and made strawberry shortcake.
This is the one crop you can pick at the farm. Their farm market features a number of fruits and vegetables grown on the farm and purchased from other area growers. They sell sour cherries in mid-summer, apples as they ripen, and cider. There is nothing like fresh picked apples for eating and pies! Up until 1968, you could buy your Thanksgiving turkey at White House farm.
Beside the fruit, one of the things they are most famous for are donuts, particularly blueberry iced donuts, which are far and away the consensus favorite. They make over 40 varieties of donuts, accepting orders large and small. The also sell other baked goods, deli meats and cheeses, fudge, specialty foods, as well as farm produce. There are also seasonal events including their Fall Festival and Winter Gift Barn.
During the spring and fall, they offer tours for school children that include an apple, cider, and a donut. Currently they are priced at $4 a child, $1 for adult chaperones, and free for teachers! They also welcome bus tours.
The 100 acre farm was purchased by Jerome Hull in 1924 from his uncle, Ensign Baird. At the time, Hull was superintendent of Mahoning County Schools. Jerome and his newly wed wife Doris started growing apples and peaches on the farm immediately (at one time Mahoning County was one of the leading apple producers in Ohio. Beginning in the Depression, they started raising and selling turkeys, up to 5,000 a year to area groceries and at the farm.
Jerome and Doris also grew children, nine in all. Son David and his wife took over the farm. They gave up the turkey business in 1968 to focus on fruit growing. In 1978 they cleaned out the bank barn built in 1881 to create a farm market. Now they are joined by a third generation with son Dave, daughters Debbie Pifer and Wendy Lynn operating the farm. They have built two lakes and a whole farm irrigation system, enhancing both the beauty and growing capabilities of the farm.
With COVID-19 and a cold spring, 2020 has been a challenging year for White House Fruit Farm. For a time they were closed to all but curbside pick up orders. Like other businesses they are open with special precautions and more limited hours. Strawberries are ripening later. If you are visiting (and you should!) you should check their website for when strawberries are in season, current hours and precautions, and the many other services and events they offer (including fruit baskets). It’s a good time to plan a visit to your childhood memories!
Other contact information:
9249 State Rt 62, Canfield, OH 44406