It’s Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Season
A friend of mine has a theory about local strawberries, which are really the only strawberries worth eating. She believes that you should gorge on strawberries while they’re in season and eat them three times a day. She maintains that you should consume nature’s bounty in excess and by the time there are no more strawberries to be picked in our region you will not want to look at another strawberry again for another eleven months. Thus, you will not even be tempted in February to buy California strawberries that have only a vague resemblance to the berries grown at farms in Berkshire, Columbia, Dutchess and Litchfield counties. (My friend applies her theory to tomatoes and raspberries as well.)
The most economical and profoundly pleasurable way to indulge in local strawberries is to pick your own. And there’s nothing quite like eating strawberries in the field as another friend, Lygeia Grace, blogged in Real Simple. “Sweet and still warm from the sun, the fruit has a musky, earthy taste that can never be recaptured once you are back home.” The fortuitous thing about picking strawberries is that you get tired and bored at exactly the right moment when you have picked just enough berries to last a few days. This never happens when you pick apples (you always have way more than you need) or when you pick blueberries or raspberries (which is incredibly time consuming and you eat most of what you’ve picked in the car ride home.) . Our current favorite place to pick strawberries is the Thomspon Finch Farm in Ancram, NY, which is centrally located even though it feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. Certified organic, Thompson Finch’s berry patch is beautifully maintained with healthy plants that were loaded with fruit this week. Owners Marnie and Don MacLean don’t want you driving unnecessarily so call 518.329.7578 to check whether it’s a good day for picking. If Ancram seems too out of the way, here are some other farms to consider.
If your favorite pick-your-own farm is not listed here, please leave a comment and tell us about it.