Back on June 30th we decided the time was right.
Timing is everything when it comes to fresh strawberry picking.
If you've been picking as long as we have...you'll see the signs.
Wait for the weather to be sunny with a light breeze.
You'll also want to avoid picking around any rainy days.
The rain will add moisture to the berries...which seems like a good thing, right?
Moisture on your berries will make them mush by the time you get home.
Another important thing to have is a good hat.
The hat should be well ventilated and have a wide brim.
Owen likes to go berry picking in style...
Most years we just bring the good old white Ontario grows baskets.
They usually charge a nominal fee for the baskets.... 50 cents!
We bought about 12 the first year...but the investment was well worth it.
We have lost a few to breakage over the years...but this year we brought 6 baskets.
This year Owen brought a bucket from the movies to fill.
You can bring whatever size of container you want!
When you bring a container (that isn't a white basket) the farmers at Paulridge Berry farm in Napanee will weigh the basket and mark on masking tape how much the container weighs.
That way, when you go to weight your berries...they will deduct the weight of the container.
I just adored the vintage weight scale!!!
We ride out to the patch on the tractor drawn flat bed trailer.
Darling Son and Handsome Husband all ready to go!
I'm all set too!
Look at the beautiful weather we had!!!
Another thing to note...we bring water floaties to sit on.
We each had a flutter board of some description.
They are perfect for kneeling or just sitting in the rows.
They are lightweight and easy to haul in with you.
(plus you can also use them as trays when getting your baskets back to the car!)
The picking was amazing!!!
Everywhere we looked was a small motherload of sweet berry goodness!
We try to stick with the smaller berries...they have concentrated flavour.
I also have a tendency to pick berries that are slightly yellow still.
I do this because we aren't always able to make jam right away.
Some years we have gotten home and the berries were already jam in the trunk of my car!
If you pick the super ripe ones (which everyone will be tempted to do)
you risk them going all moldy before you get to enjoy them.
You can see some slightly yellow ones on top.
We kept them in the car this time, turning on the AC full blast.
Once we were home, they went straight to the cool basement with a dehumidifier.
The dehumidifier keeps the moisture down and keeps the berries fresher longer.
As soon as humanly possible...make jam!
...or eat them in yoghurt, as a cereal or oatmeal topping, sliced on salads,
as a fruit salsa, in tarts or pies, or try this new recipe:
whole grain tortillas
garlic & herb cream cheese
-spread each tortilla with cream cheese
-arrange sliced strawberries and ham evenly, top each tortilla with lettuce
-roll up, cut each roll crosswise into 4 pieces to make 16 total.
...and don't forget...dipped in chocolate.
Strawberries are awesome!