splendid strawberry season! and what to do with the harvest.

This time of year holds something special.  I mean, deep down inside I hate it because it’s hot and I’m always bothered, but I love it for a reason that is not about temperature, sunta – errrr – burns, or outdoor activities that require 80 + SPF (and no, it’s not the UEFA Euro, although that is also super important right now):

FOOD!

When was the last time you ate with the seasons?  This is not a thing anymore because we can get bananas, strawberries, and lemons all year ’round!  If you think about it, it is not really natural, is it?  It is mind-boggingly convenient, but we have to think about how far those fruits have traveled to feed us in the winter, and how many resources were involved in getting them here.  Whatever happened to preserving for the cold months of the year?  Remember the art of canning?

This is the first year I have become fully conscious of this and I want to take advantage of our beautiful orchards in this breathtaking valley.  While attending the farmers markets is all beautiful and lovely, there is something else that is available this time of year that is just as fun, rewarding, and bonus: zero waste…

FRUIT PICKING!

I’m doing so much yelling today.  Luckily, we live where we live, and in this beautiful valley we have many orchards that offer U-Pick.  A few friends and I recently found a nice little orchard in Creston to pick six buckets of strawberries.  Yes.  Six buckets of strawberries.

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Unfortunately for the berries, we had heavy rain recently (fortunately for us to ward off wildfires), which made many moldy berries (alliteration – check!).  This meant they had to be processed very quickly once we arrived back home.  An aromatic abundance of delicious awesomeness (alliteration – check check!) …

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But now I had two buckets of strawberries to work with!  Don’t panic!  Don’t you know there are endless things you can do to enjoy your riveting red berries?

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  1. freeze them for smoothies or to thaw later for waffles, etc.
  2. make a strawberry sorbet or popsicles for those hot days: I just used two cups of strawberries, chucked them in the food processor, and added my desired sweetness in maple syrup.  I would suggest freezing these either in popsicle thingies (do these have a name?), or in scoops.
  3. make any strawberry dessert (why do I always run to Pinterest?)
  4. make strawberry jam
  5. make cool strawberry drinks for summer (like this strawberry limeade)
  6. or check out other strawberry recipes to use ’em up

It was a beautiful day; not too hot, and the rain did not fall from the clouds.  We spent just over an hour together picking some strawberries.  My two buckets of strawberries were emptied into a cardboard box, which I will compost or reuse at another time, and they had some gorgeous chickens, so I could not resist the farm fresh eggs!  So in a short time I managed to: avoid plastic packaging at the store, support local farmers, spend time with friends, pick and eat delicious strawberries, and challenge myself to try something new with an abundance of fruit.

With strawberry season ending I must think of what’s next on my U-Pick list…  Definitely peaches in August.  There is nothing better than Creston peaches in August!

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15 thoughts on “splendid strawberry season! and what to do with the harvest.

    • SO much flavour! I wouldn’t even call store bought ones strawberries. When they smell like strawberries, you know they’re going to be delicious. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Those strawberries look gorgeous. We totally forgot to get strawberries when we were at a berry farm (don’t know how that happened!) during our summer six months ago. I actually haven’t missed them, but I’m sure they will be an amazing treat next summer that we really appreciate!

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    • Thanks for your comment, Tammy! I stopped eating strawberries from the store over the winter, so I haven’t had them since last year. I really do love the taste, but I can’t wait for peaches. Peaches are my jam!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You read my mind 😉 We’re going strawberry picking tomorrow morning. It’s fun for the kids, educative, healthy, and cheaper than buying at kioks! If you’re in for a treat I recommend slicing the strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle a big (or a lot – depending on your taste) of sugar (again any kind), and add enough cream to almost cover your berries! It’s grandma’s recipe and it’s the most refreshing summer dessert!!
    Thanks for your post! Always a joy to read!

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  3. You are making me very jealous right now! I am new to zero waste and have decided to choose June for my zero waste challenge. My hubby is upset about this, as it meant I could not buy strawberries or any other soft fruit – they all come in plastic packaging … Unfortunately where we live, in London, there isn’t a local pick-your-own place. We went to one some years ago, but it was a bit of a journey.
    I am from Poland (Krakow to be precise) and in there it still is normal to buy strawberries at open air markets by weight, so you can bring your own containers. Or you can buy a 2 kg punnet, you do pay a little extra for the punnet, but if you bring it back the next time you’ll get your money back and the farmer reuses it (they are made from thin strips of wood).
    As to ice-cream. To make instant and smooth strawberry ice-cream whizz frozen strawberries, with sliced frozen banana and some yoghurt 🙂 My toddler loves it!

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    • Mmmmm thanks for the ice cream tip! It is frustrating at times when zero waste options are few and far between. I’m lucky in the sense of orchards and farms, but my town has been real slow to catch on to the ZW movement, so oftentimes I can’t find certain unpackaged or refillable items. I’m sure London is a wee bit better in that aspect?

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      • I have found one bulk store which is in reasonable distance, but it’s not very big. She doesn’t sell flour anymore, as there wasn’t any demand.
        London is huge, so I’m sure there are some areas, which are more ZW friendly than others. I have two young kids and I don’t drive, so I can’t venture too far on shopping trips.

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  4. Thanks for the strawberry tips!! I spent a lot of time canning last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it throughout the year! It also makes excellent gifts, too. Hope to get together with you over the summer 🙂

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