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.
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.
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.
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.
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.