I know myself too well. I couldn’t let my last free day go by without trying to go strawberry picking! K and I have a TON to do today, but we headed out to Indian Ladder farms today to see if there were any berries ripe. The season JUST started yesterday, so I don’t think they are as ripe as they could be. They could probably use another week. But I don’t have another week and after tasting them at the farm today, they are still twice as yummy right now as they are bought in the store, shipped underripe from California.
Indian Ladder is selling PYO for $2.75 a quart this year. Yes, that’s definitely more expensive than the grocery store, which I think sells them for $1.99 a quart, pesticide, herbicide-laden fake-red HUGE monsters. While we were picking, we actually heard someone else say out loud, “Why are these so small?” Because they don’t have 12 tons of Miracle-Gro heaped on them! Eh, I’m not patient today 🙂
We purchased quart cartons at the farm store (actually, we recycled the ones we had from last year, but we paid for them again) and headed out to the field.
Man, it’s a good thing they have signs or we might have ended up in Timbuktu!
It’s so early in the season, I was surprised there was anyone picking this weekend. Apparently, a lot of people picked yesterday too, one of the farmhands told us.
Strawberry picking is hard, at least for me. Last year was the first year ever I picked them, and it’s definitely not my favorite thing. They’re ripe in the summertime, when the sun is beating down on you and it’s hot. You have to bend over, and search through the plant for the perfect ripe ones. Then you straighten up and drop them in your bucket. I much prefer blueberry picking – they’re right at the perfect level for me 🙂
So, we picked three quarts today. Two of the quarts will eventually go towards 4 pints of strawberry jam, yum 🙂 The last quart is for snacking on or a pie or dessert if K feels like making one. But first, since we won’t be here the next few days, we needed to freeze them.
I hulled the strawberries, then placed them on a single layer on a baking sheet.
I had a few sheets full, then stuck them into our freezer for about an hour.
While I waited, Zöe-cat did not help me at all…except to amuse me 🙂 She loves this position! I tell her it’s quite unlady-like all the time.
Finally, I dumped them out of the sheets and into separate freezer quart bags. This way, they (hopefully) won’t clump together when I go to defrost them later.
Now I’m ready to make strawberry jam when I’m back home! Yum!