Strawberry fields

This past week we loaded up the children and headed out to pick some strawberries. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, and a great break from the ordinary.

 

The girls had so much fun picking their own berries! There was a trail following Cocobaby of strawberries that were picked, nibbled on, then discarded. I tried to gather up as many remains as possible, but that child was determined. (Don’t worry, I confessed to the supervisor, who didn’t seem to mind at all. I have a feeling it happens often!)

 

If you are in the Hampton Roads area and want to pick you own strawberries too, the VaUHL have compiled a list of some of the local spots with some information on them. You can see that list here (https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=377334985622383)

 

For those of you who haven’t picked your own berries before, I recommend trying it at least once. And just to help you get started, here’s some tips I scrounged up from the internet:

 

Tips on How to Pick Strawberries. The following list came from PickYourOwn.org.

  • Grasp the stem just above the berry between the forefinger and the thumbnail and pull with a slight twisting motion.
  • With the stem broken about one-half inch from the berry, allow it to roll into the palm of your hand. 
  • Repeat these operations using both hands until each holds 3 or 4 berries. 
  • Carefully place – don’t throw – the fruit into your containers. Repeat the picking process with both hands.
  • Don’t overfill your containers or try to pack the berries down.

 

How to Store Your Strawberries. The following list came from WhatsCookingAmerica.net

  • Use the berries as soon as possible as strawberries ripen no further once picked.
  • Leave the caps/stems on the strawberries until ready to eat or use in your recipes.
  • Do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat or use them. Moisture is the enemy when it comes to storing strawberries.
  • Store fresh strawberries in a colander in the refrigerator. This allows the cold air to circulate around them. Do not cover them.
  • As strawberries tastes best at room temperature, remove from the refrigerator approximately 1 hour before they are to be used.

General Picking Guidelines.  The following list came from PickYourOwn.org:

  • Be careful that your feet and knees do not damage plants or fruit in or along the edge of the row.
  • Pick only the berries that are fully red. Part the leaves with your hands to look for hidden berries ready for harvest.
  • To help the farmers, also remove from the plants berries showing rot, sunburn, insect injury or other defects and place them between the rows behind you. If they are left in the plants, the rot will quickly spread to other berries.
  • Berries to be used immediately may be picked any time, but if you plan to hold the fruit for a few days, try to pick in the early morning or on cool, cloudy days. Berries picked during the heat of the day become soft, are easily bruised and will not keep well.
  • Avoid placing the picked berries in the sunshine any longer than necessary. It is better to put them in the shade of a tree or shed than in the car trunk or on the car seat. Cool them as soon as possible after picking. Strawberries may be kept fresh in the refrigerator for two or three, depending upon the initial quality of the berry. After a few days in storage, however, the fruit loses its bright color and fresh flavor and tends to shrivel.

 

 

Now, the question remains, what to do with your bounty? Here’s a little roundup of some of my favorite recipes that I found online. The pictures are not mine, so please follow the links to see where the recipes and photographs originated from.  I tried to find a variety of recipes, so enjoy!

 

Strawberry Lemonade

 

 

Organic Strawberry Freezer JamTutorial

 

 

Strawberry Jam (without pectin)

 

Whipped Strawberry Butter

 

Homemade Gummy Fruit Snacks (Healthy Snacks for Kids)

 

 

How to Make Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups

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