More Strawberries!

Having tasted the local strawberries from my CSA share, I was eager to get more.  Lots more.  I searched the web for a local organic farm and found a small family organic farm not too far away.  So on Sunday, Josh, Ella and I went for a drive and went to Organics Family Farm, a small local organic farm for some fresh strawberries. 

Organics Family Farm

At the farm, there was a small farm stand with some ready-picked strawberries and organic strawberry and strawberry-rhubarb pies, freshly baked in the outdoor wood-fired oven.  We promptly picked up a strawberry-rhubarb pie (there were only a few left and we were NOT leaving without a pie!) and a basket for some strawberry picking fun.  They grow two varieties of strawberries: Veestar (a small and ugly but very sweet variety) and Honeoye (perfectly shaped but not as sweet).  We filled our basket with strawberries (mostly the veestar) while we sampled the berries.  They were so sweet and juicy, even better than the ones we got from our CSA share. 

Strawberry picking

Afterwards, we had a chance to talk to the owner/farmer.  We learned that you can only grow strawberries on a piece of  land for a maximum of two years before you have to rotate crops, and that the veestar variety of strawberry is losing its vigor and showing signs of being genetically drained.  The plants are not as strong as they used to be and this is probably the last year they’ll grow them.  That’s really too bad because they are the sweetest berries I’ve ever tasted. 

Our strawberries

We ended up with 6(!) quarts of strawberries - way more berries that we know what to do with.  Perhaps we (I) were a bit overzealous in our berry-picking.  We made strawberry loaf and muffins, strawberry smoothies and I think I’ll make some strawberry jam for the very first time.  I’ve never made jam before - we’ll see how that goes.

Strawberry Bread Recipe

My kitchen smelled heavenly while this was baking.  This bread tastes a lot better once it’s cooled.  The recipe originally called for 1 1/2 cups of sugar, I thought that was a bit much and since the berries were so sweet, I reduced it to 1 cup and it was just sweet enough for us.

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup salad oil
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup quick oats
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups crushed strawberries

Beat eggs and sugar; add oil and vanilla. 

Mix in flour, oats, cinnamon, soda, salt and baking powder. Add strawberries and mix well.

Pour into two greased and floured 4 x 8 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  For muffins, bake for 15 minutes.


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4 Responses to “More Strawberries!”

  1. Susan Says:

    You can also freeze washed strawberries individually on a cookie sheet and then pop them into a bag in the freezer. I don’t put any sugar on them beforehand. I find the u-pick ones keep their texture very nicely and I use them on my cereal in the winter. Raspberries too.

    (I was looking for a strawberry bread recipe; hence the comment on an elderly post!)

  2. josh Says:

    Thanks for the tips Susan! I hope you enjoy the strawberry bread. We just thawed and ate the last of ours this week.

    I checked out your website - very nice. We might try your dill pickles (or the freezer dills you pointed to). We made some freezer sweet pickles from the following recipe but made some substitutions based on what we had around the house (cumin seeds instead of mustard seed). Tasty!
    http://recipes.todaysparent.com/tprecipe/tp/article.jsp?recipeId=5870

    Also - don’t forget to add some Saskatoon farmers and markets to our website list. We don’t have much representation out West yet.

  3. nicole Says:

    Hi - I am getting ready to plant my first strawberry patch and was looking for information on Veestar berries, which is how I ended up at your blog. I’m really excited that you’re local! I’m in Etobicoke, have never heard of the Organics Family Farm - thank you for the link. And I’m definitely trying that strawberry bread recipe! ideally with berries from my own crop…..

    Nicole

  4. josh Says:

    Hi Nicole,

    How did you hear about Veestars? My grandparents used to always plant them and swore they made the best jams. I don’t think they’re that easy to find. We ordered some plants this year and ordered Veestar plants from Dam Seeds. They haven’t shipped yet since they wait for the chance of frost to past. Unfortunately you are supposed to pinch off the flowers the first year to strengthen the plants which means we’ll be back to Organics Family Farm this year.

    Josh

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