Let’s go strawberry picking

By Kari Svenneby
Sure you can get fresh strawberries all year around, but nothing beats the taste of local strawberries in season.It is a sure sign that summer and sunshine is here to stay.

I hope you go to your local Farmer’s Market and find strawberries grown in your area, but why not go to one of the local farms and check out what fresh really means. We go to a local organic farmer just outside of the city to pick our strawberries and both the kids and adults have a great time. We always get in a chat with one of the family members out in the fields and you never see any silly signs like, “NO Tasting”. We fill a few big baskets and freeze or preserve them for use later this year or a tasty reminder of warmer days in the dead of winter.

There is something special about picking and preserving our own harvested food. Kids just look at their food differently when they have had a hand in picking and preserving the food they eat at the dinner table.

No rain or shine activity
Usually I say ‘rain or shine’ when it comes to outings, but not when it comes to strawberry picking. The berries get soft and easily attacked by mould when they are harvested wet. When you go for berry picking plan for a lot of sun exposure and take precautions to protect the family. Be sure to bring plenty to drink and a picnic to feed your little strawberry pickers. If you have empty containers for berries bring those as well. I usually bring a cooler to keep berries stored cool on the way back home. Make sure you don’t pile the strawberries too deep as they will get mushy on the bottom.

When you are at the farm the farmer will tell you which field to go berry picking and you just start picking berries. Show you’re kids how to pick them, but don’t expect them to do any really basket filling until they get older.

I am wondering when they will put more in the basket than their mouths, but that is why we go to an organic farm where we let the kids eat as many strawberries as they want.

A fun activity
A fun activity for the kids (if you do not mind strawberry stains) is to find a piece of straw and make necklaces made of strawberries.

When you come home you can make you own strawberry jam so you have own supply for the year to come. Our kids love the fact that they had a part in making the jam that they eat. And it is defiantly nice to know what is in your jam!

Don’t forget to make you’re own strawberry shortcake, this is my favorite recipe.

Find local farms where you live US, Canada , United Kingdom

Our pick for U-pick strawberries in the Toronto area is Organics Family Farm.
Only one hour out of Toronto, and one of the few farms in Ontario who offers organic strawberries. Organics Family 7550 19th Ave. Markham, Ont. Phone 905 604 5206

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