Frequesntly Asked Questions
Flavor is influenced by growing conditions (i.e., weather), stage of ripeness when harvested, and the variety. Size is not a factor in determining flavor.
Is it better to leave the smaller red berries so they will grow bigger?
All red berries are ripe and should be picked. Strawberries grow first in size, and then ripen. If it is red, it is done growing and will spoil if left behind.
You sell by the quart. I brought my own containers. Can I pick in them?
You can borrow some of our boxes to pick in. We then can count the number of quarts when you transfer them to your containers.
What's the best way to store strawberries?
For strawberries to stay fresh, do not wash them right away. Store them in a large container with a dry paper towel at the bottom. Separate the berries by layering them with paper towels to maximize freshness. Just before using, wash strawberries with the caps attached under a gentle spray of cool water. For best flavor, allow strawberries to reach room temperature before serving.
Are strawberries planted each year?
Strawberries are a perennial (will live for more than one year). We do plant some strawberries each year. They do not bear fruit the first yea,r but will the next, and will usually produce for 3 to 5 years.
Is it easy to grow strawberries?
Strawberries are one of the most labor intensive crops to grow! Since the plants are perennials, you do not have to plant them all every year. We till under about 1/3 of our planting each year and replant. Growing strawberries includes: planting, picking blossoms (year 1), hand hoeing, hand weeding, fertilizing, cultivating, monitoring/treating for insects and diseases, spreading straw, setting runners, and harvesting. (See the “How To Grow Strawberries” page for more information.)
Does the straw keep them from freezing?
Certainly with temperatures as low as 40 below zero in northern Maine the straw that we cover the plants with does not keep them from freezing. It does, however, keep them from breaking dormancy too early in the spring. The straw also helps to keep out weeds and keep the berries clean.
How long is the Strawberry Season?
Strawberries are usually ready for picking by the end of June, with the season lasting about 3 weeks. Occasionally we will have a late season and picking will last until the end of July. A hot dry season means a shorter season.
Is it cheaper to buy strawberries by the quart or the pound?
Some people think that one quart of strawberries equals one pound. Remember, when comparing strawberries sold by the pound to strawberries sold by the quart that there are 1 ˝ pounds in a quart. So the cost of 1 pound of strawberries multiplied by 1.5 equals the cost of strawberries sold by the quart.
What is the “Park and Pick” system?
We have designed our fields to enable customers to park close to where they will be picking. Field headlands are wide and rows have been kept short for the convenience of U-Pickers.
Many people are surprised to learn that, like apples and potatoes, there are several different varieties of strawberries. Strawberry varieties may differ in size, color, taste, softness, shape, and time of ripening. Currently, we grow 5 different varieties of strawberries: Kent, Sparkle, Cavendish, Annapolis and Jewel. (See Strawberry Varieties page for more information.)
What are the colored flags for?
The little flags identify the strawberry variety, but more importantly indicate where to begin picking. When you arrive at the picking field you will be assigned a row to pick in. When you have picked all you want, move the flag that marked where you began to the spot where you end. If you finish the whole row, you can lay the flag down at the beginning of the row.
Once a field has been picked, is it picked again?
Yes, strawberries continue to grow and ripen throughout the harvest season. We usually pick our fields 4 – 5 times each season. Ripening is somewhat weather dependent and a field that is “picked clean” today may be ready to be picked again in a couple of days if the weather is warm.
Is it O.K. to pick strawberries after it has rained?
Yes, picking when the plants are wet does not hurt them. In fact, picking is generally better on overcast days. It is cooler for picking and the berries are not stressed from the heat of the sun.
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