We grow three varieties of strawberries here on the farm: Albion, Chandler, and Seascape. This mix provides us with consistent flavor and harvests throughout the growing season in our area, which usually begins in mid-April and runs through October – some years even into November.
Different weather conditions will make a huge difference in the store-ability of strawberries. Early in the season and with cooler weather they can be red, ripe and firm, and store well for a week. In summer heat, though, they can become far more fragile, requiring immediate processing or they can go bad on you, in which case we highly recommend processing the berries in some way as soon as you get them home. If you are not going to use them within a few days, consider freezing them for use in a smoothie, pie filling, or sauce at a later date.
Click here for a video of Farmer Tom talking about growing strawberries organically, or go here: http://youtu.be/MKY-deJbKJI
(video produced by Veggie Box)
Here are some storage tips: do not wash the berries until you are ready to use them. When you get them home, remove the berries from the basket or clamshell, eating or discarding any that look really ripe or kind of sad. Place remaining berries in a single layer in a closeable container lined on the bottom with paper towels (you can reuse the clamshells, though the berries will not fit in a single layer). Put the lid on the container and place in the fridge. Under ideal fridge conditions, the berries ought to keep a number of days this way.
While terrific just on their own, there are many ways to use strawberries. For instance, they can be sliced up and used to top off a piece of buttered toast with honey for breakfast, or sprinkled in a dinner salad to add a little sweetness.
Here are some other recipe suggestions that include them: