Mmmm, Strawberries

It’s been about a week since I’ve been expecting to taste fresh, local strawberries.

The ones I’ve been expecting grow very close by: in my back yard.  I planted them this year and they seem to be doing quite well.  Every day or two, I’ll look out at them and see a strawberry on the verge of ripeness.  I’ll examine it, and decide that the tinge of pink isn’t quite red enough to pluck just yet; the pale green beneath the leaves is too reminiscent of one of those low-flavor berries imported from out of state.  Instead, I’ll leave it, and when I go out the next day to check it again, it’s gone.

Yesterday, I spotted Flopsy Mopsy Cottontail hopping through our backyard from the vicinity of the strawberry plants.  I have a feeling she’s grabbing the berries before I have a chance to get them.  Either that or it’s the mysterious Greenfield garden thief who to date is suspected of filching my weed whacker, my wife’s hydrangea blossoms, my neighbor’s tomato plant (dug from the ground!), and, most recently, a terra cotta pot of oregano and tarragon that my mom had just delivered from Massachusetts and three hanging baskets of spider plants.  But since one of the berries was left with teeth marks gnawed into it, I suspect the rabbit of this robbery.

Thank goodness for Farmer MacGregor!  There was a quart of strawberries in our Penn’s Corner CSA box yesterday.  Bright red berries, without a hint of green.  Succulent, juicy, flavorful berries that transported me back to the field at the pick-your-own berries place my family went to every year, where I must’ve eaten a quart for every pint I picked.  Vibrant, intense, amazing natural sweetness.  they were incredible.

Strawberry season is short, life is long.  Do yourself a favor: leave the office a little early today and swing by the farmers’ market on the way home.  Today is the opening day of Farmers At Phipps—or, if Squirrel Hill isn’t convenient for you, follow the link anyway, and enter your zip code into the box at the top right side of the screen.  PASA’s search function will identify farms, farmers’ markets, and more local food resources that are close to your home.  Once you know where your local resources are, it’ll make it that much easier for you to take advantage of them.  Believe me—once you bite into a seasonal strawberry, you’ll be hooked on local freshness.

Don’t forget!  Ingredients will be showing at Hartwood Acres this Sunday evening (June 6), at 7 pm;  accompanied by a question and answer session with local food experts and farmers.  The event is free and open to the public—I hope to see you there!

One Response to “Mmmm, Strawberries”

  1. Mom Says:

    We had our first native strawberries on Monday. We bought more on Wednesday and are basically eating them for every meal. I’ve been enjoying them with plain yogurt from our local dairy. Very Good!

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