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Any sightings of the elusive local WA strawberries out there?

gingershelley Jun 18, 2012 10:02 AM

I haven't seen ONE tiny pint of local strawberries this year, even at high end local stores like Metropolitan, or at either of the 2 farmers markets I go to; Burien and West Seattle.

Anyone seen them and/or share where to find this dissapearing delicacy? Also prices seen?

  1. fracklefoodie Jun 18, 2012 10:22 AM

    I'd intended on taking the family to Biringer Farms' Strawberry Fest this past weekend, but when I checked their website late Friday night they'd posted that there was no u-pick yet, so we cancelled our trip. It seems our particularly cold, wet spring is delaying ripening by a week or two past usual dates though, to be honest, I don't expect western Washington strawberries until closer to late June/July 4th (the holiday benchmarker for me) anyway.

    1. b
      Bax Jun 18, 2012 11:03 AM

      Several booths at the U-District farmer's market have strawberries. I've bought them for the past couple of weeks. $4 a pint if I remember correctly.

      1. e
        ethereal Jun 18, 2012 11:32 AM

        I picked up 2 pints at the Tacoma Farmers Market last week. They were Puyallup based and $2.50/pint or a 6 pint flat for $12. Also, I know they are ripening in my/my neighbors yards right now...so I have to think they are in the rest of the area too. Haven't looked for them in stores though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ethereal
          gingershelley Jun 20, 2012 10:17 AM

          thanks ethereal, Puy. area does often seem to ripen a week earlier than Skagit, perhaps higher altitude.. great prices!

        2. a
          antennastoheaven Jun 18, 2012 12:13 PM

          Whole Foods Westlake just put out conventionally-grown Skagit strawberries - 2 pints for $5 or a half flat for $12.99. They looked tasty!

          1. b
            bluedog67 Jun 18, 2012 01:13 PM

            saw folks strolling in Ballard w/ some GORGEOUS ones from the farmer's market. Sadly, i bumbed into them at 3:00 and market was closed. Went straight to Met Market QA and picked up some that were pretty good, but weren't as juicy as those spotted in ballard.

            1. c
              christy319 Jun 18, 2012 02:13 PM

              Ken's on Greenwood had them. I've learned not to buy them when we haven't had a stretch of sunny weather, though--they aren't sweet.

              10 Replies
              1. re: christy319
                c
                christy319 Jun 19, 2012 09:12 AM

                Also saw some from Sakuma Farms at Ballard Market last night. Half flat for $9.98. The farm has a relationship with Ballard Market at least (not sure about the other T&C) and the berries are typically very good and priced inexpensively (for local). These looked good but didn't smell as fragrant as great berries should.

                1. re: christy319
                  kaleokahu Jun 19, 2012 09:26 AM

                  Hi, christy:

                  I know and like both Richard Sakuma and Todd Lenning, their farms and berries, but the edge goes to Lenning Farms. No one does local straws better.

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                  1. re: kaleokahu
                    c
                    christy319 Jun 19, 2012 03:34 PM

                    Where do they sell?

                    My favorites have been the Rainier strawberries from Schuh Farm, sold at the Phinney FM and others. I haven't seen Rainier strawberries from any other growner and they have been (in years past, anyway) unbelievable.

                    1. re: christy319
                      gingershelley Jun 20, 2012 10:16 AM

                      Christy, thanks for the tip on Schuh Farm, I will look for these:)

                      1. re: christy319
                        kaleokahu Jun 20, 2012 02:00 PM

                        Todd & Bev Lenning usually sell from The Berry Barn and a handful of local Skagit stands. In past years they have done the neighborhood Seattle farmers' markets, but I haven't seen them at any yet this year. The Lenning trademark is flats heaped so lusciously full you can't see the boxes...

                        Schuh Farms is good, too. They bought their place from the Scharfenberg side of the Lenning Family after Joe and Nell passed.

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu
                          gingershelley Jun 22, 2012 09:44 PM

                          Kaleo, you are a wealth of information and Seattle food connections. Love the annecdote on the lineage of the Schuh Farm.

                          I WANT a flat of berries piled high so I can't see the baskets; then I feel like the bounty is mine, and I got my money's worth:)

                          Planning a day next week up to the Berry Barn for a road trip with a GF, then home to freeze and make jam.

                          Perhaps I owe you a jar of preserves? Ginger/strawberry/rhubarb preserves? Or would you prefer vanilla/black pepper/stawberry conserve?

                          1. re: gingershelley
                            kaleokahu Jun 22, 2012 11:08 PM

                            Hi, gingershelley:

                            You are so sweet. We should meet for a taste of your preserves.

                            I happen to be pecking this out from Skagit Valley right now. I talked with Todd Lenning tonight as a matter of fact. They have plenty of straws (despite the bad weather) at the Berry Barn, and also will be selling at this weekend's Mt. Vernon Farmers' Market. With a little more sunshine, they will also soon be opening their usual stand on Commercial Ave. in Anacortes.

                            I've only known the Lennings for 50 of my 54 years, so you must excuse my enthusiasm. Hardest working people I know.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu
                              c
                              christy319 Jun 26, 2012 10:03 AM

                              Are they great yet though? The ones I got at farmer's markets this weekend were fine but not great--I sure wouldn't be making jam yet. We need sun!

                              1. re: christy319
                                kaleokahu Jun 26, 2012 09:10 PM

                                Hi, christy:

                                They're excellent now, but not quite at their multi-mouth-orgasmic peak. But Sunday up there was warm and sunny all day, so who knows what was picked this morning? Get 'em while you can--the season always ends too soon.

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                              2. re: kaleokahu
                                gingershelley Jun 26, 2012 02:04 PM

                                Thanks so much Kaleo - a personal reccomendation is the best kind!
                                Plan on a road trip up there later this week:)

                  2. p
                    PAO Jun 18, 2012 03:21 PM

                    Metropolitan at Sand Point had local strawberries yesterday. Spooner Berry Farms' berry stand on 35th NE north of the post office is reportedly now open

                    1. kaleokahu Jun 18, 2012 03:48 PM

                      Lenning Farms in Skagit Valley's going strong... http://www.funattheberrybarn.com/berr...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kaleokahu
                        gingershelley Jun 20, 2012 10:23 AM

                        Thanks for the link Kaleo! Might make a day trip up there!

                      2. h
                        hngal Jun 18, 2012 10:39 PM

                        The Phinney farmer's market had them last Friday. My own strawberries are 95% green due to the wet cool month.

                        1. babette feasts Jun 18, 2012 10:57 PM

                          I have some in my backyard, but I'm not sharing!

                          1. l
                            Lauren Jun 19, 2012 09:40 AM

                            I bought some at the Wallingford Farmer's Market last week. I feared they wouldn't be sweet because they were from Skagit Valley and our weather hadn't been great for prime strawberry growing, but they were sweeter than I expected and red all the way through.

                            1. h
                              howard 1st Jun 19, 2012 10:21 AM

                              several farmers with berries of various qualities on the bricks (outside) at pike place market this past weekend - also plenty of gorgeous/tasteless california fruit at the high stalls.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: howard 1st
                                gingershelley Jun 20, 2012 10:15 AM

                                Howard, it is the gorgeous/tastless fruit I want to avoid:)

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