Sweet delight. This was the expression that was on Gardner Young’s face when he was three years old and eating delicious strawberries that he had just taken off the plant and shoved into his mouth. After some smacking and eating, a grin as big as his face appeared.
- The reaction of the child is one that can be seen on farms all around Alabama at the beginning of the fresh produce season, which is signaled by the appearance of strawberries.
- According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, strawberry production for commercial purposes may be found across the state of Alabama.
The harvest season starts in March near the Gulf Coast and continues all the way up into north Alabama, where it doesn’t stop until early June. Even though they can be found in grocery stores, the vast majority of Alabama’s strawberries are sold to customers directly through U-pick and roadside retail enterprises such as Backyard Orchards on United States Highway 31.
- Highway 431 is further north, beyond Eufaula.
- Backyard Orchards is owned by Gardner’s mother, Cassie Young, as well as by Allie Corcoran, Gardner’s sister.
- According to Corcoran, the most satisfying aspect of growing and selling strawberries is “watching the faces of our consumers.” “Or, it can be when they tell you they never realized strawberries could taste so amazing.
It’s fantastic to watch people discover how much better fresh strawberries truly are.” The Extension System provides the following recommendations for purchasing, preparing, and storing strawberries. SELECTION When choosing ripe strawberries, look for a deep red hue that is uniform across the fruit.
- The caps need to be a vibrant shade of green and connected.
- The berries must be dry and free of any dirt or mold stains before being sold.
- Strawberries have a very short shelf life and should be handled with care.
- If warm temperatures are allowed to remain, berries will quickly lose their quality.
- Place the berries, which have not been washed or capped, carefully in a shallow tray and place them in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to use the berries, wash them in a bowl of cold water a couple at a time, pulling each one out of the water carefully with your fingertips. First, drain the berries, and then remove the caps. One serving of strawberries, which is equal to one cup, satisfies the typical daily need for vitamin C that most healthy people have.
- In addition, they have trace levels of vitamin A, calcium, iron, riboflavin, and niacin in their composition.
- Only 55 calories are included in one cup of fresh strawberries.
- FREEZING Strawberries can be frozen in a variety of forms, including whole, sliced, crushed, or pureed, depending on how they will be utilized in the future.
When compared to strawberries preserved in sugar and syrup, those stored in airtight containers that are resistant to moisture and vapor loss have a shorter shelf life. On the other hand, if you don’t want to use sugar, dry packaging can help extend the strawberry season.
- When strawberries that have not been sweetened are frozen, a sugar-free sweetener can be added to the berries when they are ready to be served.
- Sugar should be used to pack strawberries so that the color and flavor are maintained.
- Sugar in the amount of 3/4 cup should be sprinkled over each quart of berries.
Mix the berries until the sugar is completely dissolved and juice is produced. Put into containers that can be frozen. Strawberries should be packed in a sugar syrup that is 40 percent strong in order to maintain their texture and form (3 cups sugar to 4 cups water).
To keep the syrup from becoming darker, add a half teaspoon of ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup. After the syrup has had time to cool, pour it over the fruit. When stored in sugar or syrup, berries have a shelf life of between 8 and 12 months. Visit BuyLocalAlabama.com to obtain a listing of Alabama’s roadside businesses and farms that allow customers to choose their own produce.
Alternatively, you may check here for additional strawberry dessert recipes.
What month is best for strawberry picking?
When does strawberry season begin and end? The month of June is peak season for strawberries over the majority of the United States. Due to the existence of ever-bearing cultivars, which are able to continue producing virtually right up until the first frost, they may also be found at some farmer’s markets in the fall.
If you do, consider yourself lucky. According to Peter Klein, whose Seedling Orchard in South Haven, Michigan supplies strawberries and other fruits to many Chicago chefs, “They’re so delicate. It’s tricky because if it gets too hot in the summer, the plants just give up.” “They’re so delicate. It’s tricky because if it gets too hot in the summer, the plants just give up.” As a result of their preference for warm days and mild nights, strawberries do particularly well in the climate of California.
There, the growing season never stops since it begins in the south and continues all the way up the central coast, into the Monterey Bay area, and then back down again. However, the best time to go is between the months of April and July. According to Carolyn O’Donnell, a commission spokesperson, this is the point in time when production in all of the growing zones overlaps.
What fruit is in season in Alabama?
Skip to the content There is no debate about Alabama’s standing as an agricultural state given that the state is home to more than 403,000 farms that are spread out across an area of 8.9 million acres. Our year-round access to an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and other types of crops is made possible by the favorable growth conditions provided by our moderate climate and our fertile soil.
You may find fields of strawberries, orchards overflowing with peaches, and rows of scuppernong vines all throughout the state if you’re seeking for an all-natural, sun-sweetened dessert. Scuppernong vines can be seen growing in rows. Even while there are plenty of farmer’s markets and fruit stands where one may stock up, there is nothing quite as enjoyable as choosing your own produce.
This is our seasonal guide to the u-pick farms located in Alabama. Summer (June – August) (June – August) On Saturdays, beginning at 7 a.m., Zook’s Orchard is open for business. to 1 p.m. and beginning at 6:30 o’clock in the evening, Tuesday through Friday. At Zook’s Orchard, which is situated in North Alabama, customers may harvest their own blueberries and wild blackberries for a price of $2.50 per pound until it gets dark.
At Mullins Orchard, which spans six acres and is home to a variety of fruits and nuts, customers have the option of picking their own blueberries for $17 or purchasing them already picked for $23. They also offer blackberry bushes that customers can take home, in addition to eggs from chickens that aren’t kept in cages.
Holmestead Farm is a farm located in Talladega, and it is known for the tasty and varied vegetables that it grows. Fruit is plentiful, and it comes in several forms, including pomegranates, apples, pears, and many kinds of berries and stone fruits. Tomatoes, okra, beans, peas, cucumbers, and squash are all harvested between the months of May and October.
During the summer months, you may harvest your own flowers, blueberries, apples, blackberries, and rattlesnake pole beans. During the months of June through August, visitors to Smith’s Farm in North Alabama can pick their own blueberries for a price of $2 per pound. Bear Mountain Blueberry Farm is a blueberry farm that can be found just beyond the city boundaries of Clay City.
Beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, visitors can go there to purchase blueberries. You have till noon today to harvest your own berries at a price of $10 per gallon. At Scott’s Orchard in Hazel Green, you may have a one-of-a-kind experience harvesting peaches by reserving a space on the wagon and participating in the activity.
- The cost of picking your own peaches at the orchard, which is $22 per person during the harvest season, includes the price of the peaches you take with you.
- This blueberry farm is located close to Tuscaloosa in Woodstock, and it charges $8 per gallon for u-pick blueberries.
- D Blueberry Farm is the place to go.
At the Vogel Farm, you’ll get the opportunity to pick your own blueberries in a relaxed and friendly environment. Blueberries of both the Southern Highbush and Rabbiteye varieties are yours for the picking if you have a gallon bucket handy. The farm operates under an honesty principle and offers a safe deposit box in case no one is around to receive you when you arrive. At this Hurricane Valley vineyard, you may pick your own muscadines and scuppernongs. The vineyard is called The Vineyard at Frog Holler. Their fruit is used by brewers and wineries in the area to make beer and wine. They are also wonderful for producing one’s own juice as well as jellies.
Spring (April – May) (April – May) At the New Market farm that is owned and operated by a family, Brown Farms, it’s all about the strawberries. In addition to pre-picked and u-pick strawberries, they also serve handmade ice cream, jams, and snow cones prepared with their sugary and luscious berries. U-pick strawberries are also available.
At Jerry Marsh Farms, you may pick your own fresh strawberries beginning at 8 in the morning on Mondays through Saturdays. to 5 p.m. at this farm located in Cleveland. Gallon baskets cost $12 if you select them yourself and $14 if you buy them already picked.
The well-known peach farm known as J. Durbin Farms also grows strawberries, and that part of the operation is known as Sunshine Farms. The farm first opened its doors in 1990 and currently has 135,000 strawberry plants, so there are lots of opportunities to spend a day searching for these delicious treats.
Produce boxes with a variety of vegetables, such as okra, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash, are available for purchase at Gypsy Ranch near Altoona. This farm is certified organic by the USDA. They charge $12 for you to pick your own strawberries throughout the springtime.
- This small farm near Hokes Bluff known as Norris Farms sells a variety of products and allows customers to select their own strawberries beginning at 8 in the morning. to 1 p.m.
- About $12 per gallon.
- C Watts Farms is a thriving farm in Munford that spans an area of sixty acres and cultivates a wide variety of crops, including tomatoes, maize, cucumbers, and squash.
Additionally, beginning in March, it is possible to harvest your own strawberries.