It’s officially the beginning of fruit picking season and the summer is just going to get sweeter. From strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and peaches there is a wide variety of fruit available for picking in the eastern Long Island farms. This past weekend officially started the peak time to harvest strawberries in Long Island. There are several farms that offer pre-picked and pick-your-own strawberries throughout Suffolk County.
My usual go to place is Patty’s Berries & Bunches in Mattituck, New York. Patty’s Berries and Bunches is owned by Patricia DiVello. The farm lies on twenty acres of land with a variety of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) and snap peas for sale and picking over the summer. Patty’s strawberry patch is about a little over a football field long. Patty’s entrance fee requires that each person purchase a quart container to collect their pickings.
Patty’s Berries & Bunches strawberry patch
The size and amount of strawberries produced highly depends on the weather and climate conditions of the site. Strawberries usually require full sun and daily watering. This season the strawberries appear to be bigger in size. When picking for strawberries, look for unblemished fruit that is firm and not mushy. The strawberries should be bright in color and fragrant. Compared to the store bought strawberries from California, these local strawberries are slightly smaller. However they are fuller in red color through the center of the fruit and pack a bigger punch of flavor. The shelf life of these strawberries is short. I recommend consuming the strawberries either within the same day or up to one day. As an alternative, you can also turn your strawberry pickings into jam, jelly or preserves.
Here are some tips for keeping your strawberries:
– After returning from the farm, place your strawberries on a flat tray to prevent the fruit becoming mushy being piled on top of each other
Before consuming the strawberries, ALWAYS wash them. They have been growing on the ground after all; I doubt that that dirt is appetizing.
-To prolong the freshness of the strawberries, store them inside the refrigerator. The summer heat and humidity can cause the fruit to spoil faster.
-Try to consume your strawberries within a day or two at most. You can also turn your fruit into jams, jelly, sauce or preserves.
Going fruit picking is a great activity for the family, couples and friends to enjoy. If you would like to visit Patty’s Berries & Bunches, refer to the information below and make sure to check the berry chart to see what is available.
To find your own local farms that offer pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, visit http://www.pickyourown.org/
Patty’s Berries & Bunches
410 Sound Avenue
Mattituck, NY 11952
Rain or Shine June through October 9 am to 6pm, Last pick-your-own admission at 5:30pm
Need a recipe for your strawberries? Click here for a Fresh Strawberry Sauce recipe. Perfect for the summer!