Fresh strawberries picked right from the vine are one of the best ways to enjoy a strawberry! Here in New England, June is the time to get out there and start picking. Here are tips to make your next strawberry picking experience fun for you and your family.
Most pick-your-own farms open early and close when all the ripe fruit is gone. They then wait another day or two and re-open the fields again for picking. Check with the farm either the night before or the morning of to ensure they have ripe fruit for picking. Often farms will update this information via a telephone recording or on their Facebook page.
Dress to not impress
Strawberry plants are low to the ground. Expect to be kneeling or getting lots of squats in as you reach down to pull the strawberries from the plants. Boots are a great idea for kids, especially with the wet morning grass. Also, the juice from a strawberry picked and eaten from the vine may cause a stain on your favorite shirt or pants.
It’s not a buffet
Who doesn’t love to sample what they are picking? I know I do! And most pick-your-own places don’t mind if you have a sample or two. Remember that every strawberry you pop into your mouth and not into the basket, is fruit you are not paying for and thus the farm is losing money!
Only pick the red strawberries.
Once you pick a strawberry it will not ripen like other fruits. In fact, it may even be a bit hard and bitter. Leave those strawberries that aren’t quite red for the next picker. The red strawberries are the sweetest and juiciest!
Use the compost bucket.
If you do happen to pick a berry that still has a side of white or green on it, don’t throw it on the ground, left to get stepped on by the next person. Instead, use the compost bucket. Most places will give you a bin or bucket to put bruised fruit into compost. Smooshed berries left on the ground will rot, attract flies and may spread berry diseases to other plants! So please help out and use the compost bucket.
This is such a fun and easy to do activity for your entire family. Check the Pick-Your-Own Website to find local farms in your area! Then slather on the sunscreen and/or a hat and get outside to enjoy the fresh air and ripe berries with your family!
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Update: This post was originally posted in June 2016 but has been given a facelift. Thank you for reading and sharing.