What is up this year? Okay, I know I'm being impatient, but I'm ready for some GOOD local strawberries. No, not just good looking, but the wonderfully soft, sweet, so juicy they make a mess of your hands / face / shirt when you pull out the stem.
I happened to be at the Ladner Market on Sunday and saw some from a local farm in Richmond. They looked under-ripe so I didn't bite. But, on my way home from work yesterday, I stopped at Birak Berry Farms on Number 6 Road and the berries looked delicious. I bought a flat and am disappointed. These berries are just a "red" version of the tasteless Californians. Or almost anyways. Is it just because I was impatient or are they a different variety that ships better? I came across the same berries at my local Yellow Hell (Buy Low) from Krause farms - pretty, red, and hard and nearly tasteless. What is UP?? Please tell me it's just because of the crappy weather and because I can't wait. It will be a sad season indeed if this is the best we can get here.
Can anyone shed any light?
It has been cool, but let's face it, strawberries don't typically reach their peak until late June/early July. And I happen to prefer the berries that ripen in mid-summer after we've had a patch of heat. They tend to be the juiciest, ripest, and most delicious. A month from now you should have the berries you prize (unless we get a repeat of last year's July).
Agree with anewton, that is when we get ours for making a dinner of only strawberry shortcake, then several flats for frozen topping to enjoy in the winter months! I felt the OP's pain though, having kickstarted the local berry jones in Pdx last month where they were enjoying their first run at the farmers' market and on the plates in many restaurants. Can't wait!
If they don't say pesticide-free, they're almost certainly not pesticide free. Strawberries are typically sprayed, and because they are soft and porous you cannot wash all of the pesticide off. Better to go with certified organic strawberries from a trusted source (i.e. a farmer's market).
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As others have stated, it just isn't quite the season yet. Strawberries really need a few days of uninterrupted heat in order to truly shine. The weather has been all over the places lately and that's exactly what those little red suckers hate most.