Strawberries are a low-calorie, high-vitamin treat best enjoyed fresh from the patch. Get the tastiest berries by picking them yourself.
Step 1: Find a local strawberry patch Search the internet for a local strawberry patch. Call first, to make sure the berries are ripe and the patch hasn't been overpicked.
TIP: Go picking during the early morning or on a cloudy day to keep the strawberries cool and fresh.
Step 2: Bring shallow containers Bring shallow containers to hold your berries. You don't want to stack your fruit more than 5 inches high.
Step 3: Find the best berries Find the best berries by checking under the leaves and close to the ground. Choose strawberries that are dry, plump, firm, and red all over.
Step 4: Pick the berries Pick carefully to avoid bruising. Grasp the stem above the berry between your thumb and forefinger, and then twist and pull gently.
TIP: Although you can pick berries while standing up, it's easier on your back to pick from a squatting, kneeling, or sitting position. Use a kneeling pad for comfort.
Step 5: Transport the berries Transport your berries carefully. Don't crush them or keep them in the sunlight. Avoid putting them in your trunk or leaving them inside the car for very long. Too much heat will accelerate decay.
TIP: Bring an insulated cooler to keep your strawberries fresh during transport home.
Step 6: Enjoy Wash your strawberries before eating, freezing, or cooking with them. There are countless ways to enjoy the taste of fresh-picked strawberries.
FACT: Most linguists think the word "strawberry" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "strae," which means "to scatter." It refers to how strawberry plants reproduce by spreading runners across the ground.