There’s really nothing like a fresh picked strawberry- one that’s actually ripe, dark red and juicey. You can smell them standing a few feet away from the plants, and it’s glorious! As apposed to store bought ones, home grown strawberries are ripened on the plant, and not picked while they’re young and firm (able to survive shipping across the country…). There’s no sugar necessary when eating these puppies, and no need to wash them either, since i’m not using pesticides or other toxic sprays.
I planted two varieties last year, so that i would get a slightly longer season, and it’s working for the most part- have had them for the last few weeks, with some still coming on. They do tend to ripen all at once, leaving you with mounds of fruits. we’ve eaten all we can, and decided to freeze some to help us get through the winter doldrums. 10 minutes of picking, and i got 3 pounds (and that’s with eating every third one as i was picking…)! Pick them early in the morning, to get the best quality fruit, and simply wipe off any dirt, cut the big ones in half, and lay them on a parchment lined sheet tray in a single layer for fast freezing. After completely frozen, bag them up, and you’re done! The quicker something freezes, the smaller the ice crystals are inside the fruit: this minimizes damage, and gives you a firmer, juicier product, which will last longer in the freezer. Not that these are going to last very long come winter!