Many months ago I read somewhere about “pick your own” fields.
I knew I wanted to try going to one this year. But when I read Charity and Cassie’s recent posts about strawberry picking I realized I really needed to get on this before the season dries up! On Sunday we headed over to Fitch’s Farm Market in Avon, Ohio to pick strawberries. I really wasn’t sure how many we wanted, but knew we wanted enough to eat this week and freeze for smoothies. And maybe if I was feeling ambitious (I was) I’d make a strawberry pie (I did).
The process was relatively simple. Grab some provided baskets and go picking in the designated areas. I believe our skills improved toward the end of our venture as I soon realized better berries were in the middle of the field. We spent a lot of time picking small berries at the beginning… thinking that’s all there was! If you go earlier in the season I’m sure the selection is better as well.
We left with 8 quarts of berries for just under $20. We brought containers from home to store the berries (although they would have given us a plastic bag if needed). I read up on berry picking before we went to Fitch’s and learned it’s best not to wash the berries until you are ready to eat them. As soon as you wash them they begin to spoil. I also learned that strawberries do not ripen off the vine, so you are best to pick red and juicy ones from the start if possible.
I actually planted a few strawberry plants this year but being I only have three my crop is expected to be no more than enough for a salad topping. The “pick your own” concept was really fun if you are willing to put in the time and effort to pick the actual berries and then clean them at home. For a more natural, local food — it was worth it to me. I am hoping to investigate more “pick your own” farms this summer and even take a stab at home canning.
Have you been to a “pick your own” farm before? What did you pick?