Saturday, May 7, 2011

Strawberry Season Tips~Picking, Storage, and Freezing

We were very fortunate to be able to go to a local farm last night and pick some beautiful berries. If you live in Southwest Virginia, you really should check out Dansby's Strawberry Farm in Rocky Mount, Virginia. They are a small, family-run farm and they are good folks. We had a chance to talk to the Dansby's last night and the word plasticulture is now firmly planted in my vocabulary.
I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia and I can remember going to the Pungo Strawberry Festival every year. I used to look forward to eating my fill of strawberries and strawberry shortcakes. And there always used to be a guy there that sold root beer. Really good root beer. Not sure if he's still there but he made good stuff!

Anyway, this post is for those of you who mentioned to me on facebook that you were going strawberry picking soon. I decided to make a quick post on how to pick good berries and how to store and freeze them for future use. All this great information came to me courtesy of  Mrs. Dansby and the Virginia Department of Agriculture.
~The best thing about strawberries?~
They are darn good for you.
And the good news is many of your local farmers are going organic!

     


We always pick WAY more strawberries than we can possible consume right away. And sometimes I'm not always prepared to make preserves as soon as we've picked them. So freezing is very handy for berries.  The process above is called flash freezing.  Freezing your strawberries is not only a great way to enjoy your berries year round but they are great in smoothies as well as daquiris.
So go out there and pick some berries. Show your kids where their food comes from and support your local farmers.
Ok, now I sound like a public service announcement, you get the point, right?


To find farms near you that allow you to pick your own fruits and veggies, go to PickYourOwn.org


To print your own Strawberry tip chart, click HERE






17 comments:

Rhondi said...

Thanks for your freezing tips! I'm stocking up my freezer this summer. I can't wait to see your upcoming strawberry recipes. I would be in heaven at a strawberry festival, and root beer is a bonus!

Holly said...

Oh Bran I LOVE this post! I wish we had a place to go Strawberry picking where I live : ) That picture of you and Alex is precious!! Hope you have a fantastic Mothers Day : )

Carolyn said...

Do you have a "button"? I'm linking you to a post i'll put on Monday, and would like a visual for the readers as well as a link. I love these tips--its a must share! =) Thanks!

4littlefergusons said...

What a precious photo of you and your son! We just planted a strawberry patch, fingers crossed we don't kill it before we see the "fruit" of our labor. :)

Veronica Gantley said...

Yup! That is exactly what I do with my strawberries. You will be glad you froze them. I make a strawbery trifle for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you buy them in the winter months they are very expensive. We still have the Pungo Strawberry festival. Not sure about the rootbeer guy, but it is really big here in Virgina Beach.

Major Mom said...

I miss the Pungo Strawberry Fest! And picking berries down in Pungo. I have one last bag of frozen berries in my freezer. Saving them for our next houseguests next weekend: strawberry shortcake for dessert!

Aimee said...

We have a strawberry patch in our back yard that will be blooming real soon. I encourage everyone to try growing your own. As my husband would say, it's less lawn to mow!!!
-Aimee

sliceofsouthern said...

Love the post and I love strawberries. We have a great festival up in Ventura in a couple of weeks as well, and it's so much fun! Happy Mother's Day!

Betty @ scrambled henfruit said...

I heart strawberries and am so glad that it's strawberry season here in VA! My brother has strawberry fields, and he lets me have all I can pick. Needless to say, I fill my freezer every spring. Great tips for picking!

Bizzy said...

Thanks for this informative post. I certainly learned from it. I have discovered a good source of strawberries and now I can freeze them properly.

scratch-made wife said...

That is such a sweet photo. Love, love, love it! The husband and I will be picking fresh berries soon, I hope. (I really don't know why we didn't go this weekend - the berries are ready here, too!) I have a lot of fond memories of picking with my grandparents.

Evan @swEEts said...

Oh my goodness!! My best friend is from Pungo and in college we used to go to the Pungo Strawberry Festival!! The strawberries there are delicious! :) I wish I could go back.. Texas strawberries are definitely not as good.

Lisa@Flour Me With Love said...

Thanks for all the great information, we love strawberries! I love the last picture...so cute :)

Lizzy said...

You are such a fun mom, Brandie! I cannot wait till the Indiana berries are ripe. Happy Mother's Day, my friend!

spcookiequeen said...

I can't wait to go and pick me a ton of ripe strawberries.

Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!
-Gina-

Ang said...

Love it Brandy! Thanks for all the great tips. We are only a month away from fresh strawberries, and this year, I'm definitely picking way to much. I always run out of preserves by the end of December.

And the pic of you and your son.....I hope you frame that one;)

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Oh, I can't wait for strawberry season!