Yippee!! Strawberry season is JUST around in the corner! This is still my most favourite time of the year – I can’t wait for that first, juicy, sweet bite of a berry still warm from the sun…ANTICIPATION!!!
And so, we’re anticipating our first Pick Your Own Strawberry Day to be either Sunday, July 9th or Monday, July 10th. As soon as I have more exact information I will definitely update all you eager berry pickers.
So as we wait for those sweet northern berries to ripen…I thought I’d share some Top Ten “Super-Star” strawberry picking tips for the 2017 season.
- Call the Info Line: 475 5181 or check with the Farm Updates for the latest picking conditions JUST BEFORE you get in your car and head out to the farm. Sometimes weather, ripening or the size of crowds can change the actual availability of fruit to pick! I update this message VERY frequently once we get going to let you know the latest conditions.
- Be earth friendly and bring your own containers in which to pick your delicious strawberries. BUT! Make sure they are clearly marked with a Litre volume. We sell our berries by the litre so this is very, very, important. Also, choose small-ish containers (like 4 to 6 litres maximum) so your precious berries aren’t crushed by their own weight. If you don’t have anything with a litre volume marked, we have 4L plastic, reusable, baskets available here for purchase ($1.50 each – includes HST).
- Be sun safe! Wear loose, light-coloured clothes that are cool, but cover you from the sun, wear a hat, bring a re-fillable water bottle and don’t forget that sunscreen!
- Leave your furry family members in the safety and comfort of home. Due to health and safety concerns for humans AND our own farm animals, we unfortunately can’t allow pets into the pick your fields, the Farm Store, the Cafe or the Children’s Play Area (with farm animals for viewing). And we sure don’t want to have your pets waiting in a hot car, so truly the best place for them is at home.
- Strawberries DO NOT ripen after they’re picked. Make sure the berries you pick are completely red – not orangey-red and with no white. Do a taste test!
- Size really doesn’t matter. In fact, the smaller berries are the SWEETEST! Yeah, yeah, I know they take a bit more effort to hull (take the caps off) and clean. But honestly, less water content concentrates the flavour and you actually get MORE fruit in your basket with smaller berries!
- Do a TASTE test as you pick. As you’ve probably gathered from tips #5 & #6, we encourage you to taste the berries. And it warms our hearts to see kids with strawberry juice staining their shirts and dripping down their chins. But please do remember that it’s “tasting” we encourage for adults (not grown-up belly filling). It’s your support through purchasing our fruit that has kept our family farm going for 3 generations 🙂
- Some of the best berries are hiding under leaves or in the weeds. There’s something about that slower, sheltered ripening that just brings out the best flavour. Don’t be afraid to dig around the plants a bit!
- Help stop food waste! Get the most out of your row – thoroughly check both sides and middles, moving leaves as you go. In fact, if you can pick off any damaged berries and place them in the aisle, that would be SUPER helpful! Removing those berries helps to stop them from spoiling the berries still ripening nearby.
- Help us to help you! Our team is out in the fields with you to make sure you have a great experience and get the berries that you want. If you have a question or concern, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our super helpful and friendly staff members (they’re in the red shirts!)
And now you are READY! Keep in touch with our info line: 475 5181 and this update page – It’ll be changed by Friday night with an exact picking start.
Here’s to a great 2017 strawberry season. We can’t wait to see you at the farm!
The Belluz Family,
Jodi, Kevin, Lily & Findley + our fantastic farm team.