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U-Pick

Strawberries are the farm's only U-Pick crop
2016 Strawberry U-PICK Season ended Saturday, June 18

2016 STRAWBERRY U-PICK TIMES

Strawberry U-Picking morning times are 7:00 am - 12:00 pm on Mondays through Saturdays;
late afternoons are Thursday and Friday from 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm.

Please note that picking times are different from store hours.

2016 Strawberry U-PICK Pricing

Regular U-Pick Berries are priced at $1.25 per pound - same as last year. Berries are picked into NFF boxes and are weighed at check out. These boxes when filled contain about 8 quarts. It is advisable that you bring containers to take your berries home in. One quart weighs between 1 1/4 -1 1/2 pounds. Rows are marked, flagged and monitored by NFF employees to insure that each of you has fresh picking.

Toward season's end of a particular strawberry variety, a Patch Clean-up price of 1.00 per pound is offered. Picking is not as easy, but the fruit quality remains good. All berries are picked into NFF containers and weighed in the field. It is advisable that you bring containers to take your berries home in. These rows are also marked, flagged and monitored by NFF employees.

Choose to make picking strawberries a "Family Experience"

U PICK STRAWBERRIES has happened at Nottawa Fruit Farm for over thirty years. Weather is the only factor in determining the starting date for U-Pick Strawberries. Berries are sold in the store for about three weeks, but, typically, the strawberry "picking" season is much shorter ~ only about ten days - beginning on June . . . . . . . .

Enjoy "local" strawberries that are grown for their flavor, not shelf-life

Varieties of Strawberries available for picking

EARLIGLOW is the reddest and the sweetest berry and freezes beautifully. The taste is unbelievable. Its only drawback is that its size decreases dramatically as the season progresses.

WENDY is also an early-season berry; its developers have attempted to challenge Earliglow for bragging rights as the earliest and sweetest berry. Its biggest advantage is that it keeps its size throughout the season.

HONEOYE is a large, easy-to-pick berry with good freezing qualities. Its mildly acidic flavor makes it an excellent choice for jams and baking.

L'AMOUR is a mid-season berry. Its fruit is a large, conical, and firm berry with excellent flavor and has good freezing qualities.

JEWEL is a late-season berry which produces large fruit of superb quality, flavor and color. It is, without a doubt, second only to Earliglow in popularity for fresh eating and freezing.

How to Take Care of your "Picked" Strawberries

1. Refrigerate as quickly after picking as possible; fresh berries are highly perishable.
2. It is best to use refrigerated strawberries within one or two days of picking.
3. Do not wash berries until just before you are ready to use them.
4. Leave caps on fruit while washing them or the fruit will absorb too much water.
5. You can easily remove caps from strawberries by twisting or use a berry huller.
6. Let strawberries air dry before using. If necessary, berries can be patted dry with a paper towel.

Freezing Guidelines for your Strawberries

DRY PACK: Put the washed, hulled fruit - whole or sliced - into freezer containers of your choice. If you want a sweeter product, add sugar (no liquid) to suit your taste before sealing container. Label and date - it is best used within six months.
SYRUP PACK: Put the washed, hulled fruit, whole or sliced, into freezer containers of your choice. Add desired concentration of syrup to completely cover the fruit. Label and date - it is best used within six months.
Syrup Solutions for Freezing:
LIGHT: 2 cups sugar / 4 cups of water
MEDIUM: 3 cups sugar / 4 cups water
HEAVY: 4 cups sugar / 4 cups
Add your desired concentration of syrup to completely cover the fruit - it is important to cover the fruit completely and leave 1/2 inch headspace. Label and date - it is best used within six months.

William Butler, seventeenth-century writer, said of the incomparable Strawberry that . . . .
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."