Strawberry season is here. Are you ready to go strawberry picking? If you are planning to pick your own strawberries, here are a few tips that will make your trip successful.
Strawberry Picking: Plan Ahead
Before you go picking, you’ll want to do the following things:
- Call ahead to confirm berries are ready and to determine the picking hours.
- Plan to go early in the morning. If you can, go as soon as they open. The saying “The early bird gets the worm” is true for strawberry picking. You’ll have a better selection of strawberries, since the rows won’t be picked over.
- Wear old clothes. You might get a strawberry stain. It usually comes out in the wash, but just in case…
What to Bring When Picking Your Own Strawberries
- Water: You’ll be thirsty after picking.
- Cash: Many small farms do not have credit card machines.
- A change of shoes: I like to wear flip flops. I can take them off right after picking, and they are easy to hose off when I get home. Other pickers like to wear socks and sneakers. Whatever you decide, just bring a change of shoes. If you step on a berry, you won’t want to track it into your car.
- Clean up supplies: Baby wipes or wet face cloth in plastic bag. You will want to clean your fingers after picking.
Picking Your Own Strawberries: Tips for Picking in the Field
Usually, only certain rows are open. Try to pick a row that no one has picked in yet. It will make picking much faster.
Since you pay by the pound, you’ll want to pick clean. That means, do not pick the stems. Pick the strawberry where the stem meets the berry. Leave the whole stem behind, so only the green leaves stay on the berry.
Be sure to look in between the strawberry bushes. Many people simple pick along the edges where you can easily see the berries. By looking in between the leaves, you’ll find lots of berries.
It’s okay to eat a few strawberries while you are there. After all, you want to know if the berries are sweet and tasty. Just don’t overdo it. 🙂
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After you Finish Picking Strawberries
You’ll want to get the strawberries home and into the refrigerator. I like to transfer mine into a colander, so that there a few holes to allow air in. I also cover the top of the colander loosely with plastic wrap. This keeps anything from falling into the strawberries.
Lastly, it’s important to have a strawberry huller. This handy tool allows you to easily take the leaves off the berry. You can certainly cut this part off with a knife, but you will take off too much of the strawberry. With a Strawberry Huller, you will only take off the leaves, and keep the rest of the strawberry to eat.
Enjoy your strawberries! There’s nothing quite like eating strawberries that were just picked. 🙂
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