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Strawberry Season in Connecticut

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Most of my acquaintances and coworkers buy berries from the supermarket, and think I'm nuts... I was seeing $5 and $6 bucks a quart. What did you pay for berries this season? I know the abundance and quality is weather driven, but there's no more or less work on the growers end. Is it purely supply and demand?

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  1. I'm just north in RI, but our growing season/pricing seems to be relatively similar (at least to S-E CT). Based on what I see at the supermarket, $5.00 doesn't seem wildly out-of-line (though they're regularly "on special" for a lower price per pound). At this time of year, I usually go for local berries, though. At the farmers market, I pay between $3.50 and $5.00 for a pound of strawberries. At least in this part of the world, it's been a very wet growing season, so the fruit this year has been soft and quite bland. My CSA farmer described them as "waterlogged," and advised me to use them within a day or two. So, alas, while this may not go down as a great year for fresh strawberries, they've been fine so far for jams and jellies. The rain and clouds may also have decreased yields and increased prices, but that's just wild speculation on my part. I don't think local weather would have any effect on supermarket pricing either, since those berries seem to come from CA or thereabouts. Generally though, fresh berries seem to cost a premium, and farmers (and supermarkets!) charge the most they can get.
    RRH

    3 Replies
    1. re: RhodyRedHen

      Ooops, meant $5 and $6 when I purchased at farmstands. I like to support my local farmer, but sheesh! I don't need to finance his humvee

      1. re: BiscuitBoy

        Ha! I hear you. I think plenty of farmers are cashing in on the "farm to table" trend. We may be living through the great berry bubble of 2013. Veggo's $5.99/qt does seem like quite a lot, especially given the quality this year (at least around here recently.)

        1. re: RhodyRedHen

          In Florida now, strawberries from CA are 2/$5.00

    2. The owner of #1 Fish Market on State St. in Hamden owns a farm, and sells some of his produce in the fish market. His strawberries are $5.99/ QT today.

      1. I am just over the border from Southwick MA. bought berries a few days ago at Blossoming Acres for 4.99 for a generous, heaping quart. good ones, too.
        my local supermarket (Geissler's) had local ones for 5.99.
        strawberries, blueberries and black cherries are the only fruit I really like to eat, so I buy in season and court vitamin deficiencies the rest of the year.

        1. In Glastonbury, it is $5/quart at the local farm stand.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mels

            Yeah...$5.99 at Roses, 5.49 at Gottas/QP...thought is was a little $$$$

            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              I am pretty sure I paid $5 at Deercrest Farm but maybe I am wrong and it was $5.99. It is steep and I always figure there is a little bit of a Glastonbury surcharge added in there but maybe that's the going rate.

              As for the cheap supermarket CA and FL strawberries, quite frankly they are so sub par in taste that I don't bother with them. I eat them fresh in season, freeze some for the off season, then go cold turkey when I run out. I don't get all food snobby about much, but strawberries and tomatoes local/in season can't be matched.

          2. 2014 - $5.99 Draghi in Glastonbury, won't be buying from them anymore. Ironically, Stew Leonard, he of high prices, has organic berries, 2lbs for $6

            7 Replies
            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              $4.50 at Johnson Brook Farms in Southwick.
              they also grow asparagus.

              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                Being organic doesn't mean they have the flavor of fresh native berries. In fact, It's unlikely they will.

                1. re: Clams047

                  Preaching to choir..."organic" has quite the sullied rep these days. I have to admit tho, that my supermarket gets good berries from time to time

                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                    Why does organic have a "sullied" rep? And being organic not as flavorful as native?
                    I will pay a premium for organic strawberries to avoid eating fungicides and other nasties. The organic berries I get are "native" and delicious.

                    1. re: ElsieB

                      Well all berries are "native" to somewhere. What does organic mean to you? What do you think it means to the marketing dept? Lots of things get labeled organic because they meet "someone's" definition. The organic berries at Stews - No nasties? Like fertilizer? You prefer clean chicken manure? And what is in that? Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium? Oh My! And then trucked across the country? Organic? Call it what you want, but don't kid yourself

                      1. re: ElsieB

                        I hope you really don't believe there are no fungicides on "organic" fruits:

                        http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/fruit...

                        Then again, having a little fungus might not be all that nasty.

                  2. re: BiscuitBoy

                    Saw Driscolls at Aldi this morning at $1.29/qt. Guess that's about the price needed to balance the flavor of the native ones.

                  3. 2014: quart of strawberries is going for $7 at Rose's Berry farm, $6.50/qt at Deercrest Farm. I would still rather pay that much that eat a Driscoll's berry! Strawberries are one of those things that I need to eat in-season/local or not at all...tomatoes also fall into that category for me.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mels

                      I agree, a berry from my backyard is almost always better, but this borders on price gouging. You know as well as I do, the local farmers in our area don't exactly seem like the impoverished stereotype

                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                        What do you think a fair price would be? $7 for fresh local is ok for me. I recall as a kid going to those pick your own strawberry places. After an hour stooped over in the sun picking berries one by one, I would have gladly paid not to pick the berries. The farmers I know in CT are not getting rich by selling berries. Maybe by selling their land.

                        1. re: Bkeats

                          I'd say $4, maybe $5 is fair...and I've picked my fair share of berries - rasp, blue and straw. Probably can pick a qt in 10 mins? How much you think the farmer is paying the illegals? You honestly don't walk into a farm "stand" (farm-mahal is more like it, been to Lyman's lately?) or local farmers market look at the prices and don't say WTF to yourself? One of the poor farmers in Glastonbury has the balls to cruise around the CT highways in a late model Benz...with farm plates. Another gets a new Humvee every coupla of years. Poor farmer my ass

                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                            Not been to Lyman's. I'm down by the shoreline. The local stand I go is an outdoor stand. Staffed by local high school kids. Prices are higher than the Stop & Shop, but when I ask for a head of romaine, someone steps out into the field and cuts a head to bring to me. Dave is certainly not getting rich off his stand.

                            But I've seen the farm-mahal trend. Used to go to Bishop's in Guilford when they sold fruit and produce they grew. Stopped going when the wine counter went in.