It is May 10th, and if you live in the southern United States it is time to pick some delicious STRAWBERRIES! Our local strawberry patch has been open for “you pick” since April 8th, and they only last til the middle of June around here- if you’re lucky. We’ve been enjoying about a pint of fresh strawberries from our own plants each day, but we like to support local strawberry farms and pick berries by the gallon too. It seems that $10-$11 per gallon is the going rate around here for organically grown strawberries (not certified organic, but no sprays except the occasional fungicide, and none of that so far this year in the farms I’ve contacted). Even though I can buy (non-organic) strawberries shipped from California or Mexico at Sam’s Club for about the same price, I would rather support my local farms and enjoy fresh, sun-ripened, spray free strawberries, as well as enjoying the experience of picking fruit with my kids. It takes me and my four kids (6 years and under) about half an hour to pick two gallons of strawberries. Pretty reasonable if you ask me! By the way, if you have never had fresh picked strawberries, and think you don’t like the taste of strawberries, you may want to give fresh picked strawberries a try- they are way better than their store-bought, cardboard-like counterparts.
My favorite ways to eat my fresh strawberries are straight from the plant to my mouth, or, if I’m in a fancy mood, mixed with Daisy sour cream (we use it in place of yogurt now since it doesn’t have the added stuff that store-bought yogurt has and I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with making yogurt) with a drizzle of local honey on top. YUM.
I just learned that the best way to make sure your own strawberry plants put all their energy into producing lots of big, juicy berries is to pinch off the long runners many plants send out to make baby strawberry plants. Makes sense, though for now, I want all those baby runner plants to cover my swales and prevent erosion.
Be ready for wild plums, blackberries, and blueberries coming ripe in the next month!