Harvest Your Strawberries
Strawberries are one of the first plants to fruit in the spring. The strawberry harvest is heralded as a good omen in many locations, and numerous Strawberry Festivals celebrate the little red berries all around the country. Picking your home-grown strawberries is rewarding and should be celebrated as well! The temptation, however, is to pluck the fruits before they are ripe and to rip the fruit off at the calyx. Both can be problematic. Review the ripeness spectrum in the picture, and try to refrain from picking white-tipped or pale red fruits. Stick to harvesting berries that look like the ones at the right, and you’ll enjoy sweeter, bioflavonoid-rich, high-Vitamin C strawberries.
When it comes to actually separating the fruit from the plant, try not to grab the berry and pull. Ripe fruits will be damaged by this technique. Instead, use the nails of your thumb and forefinger to “snip” the stem holding the fruit. The freed berry will roll gently into your palm without damage. To see this illustrated, see the Strawberry Picking page.
Once harvested, shelf life is limited. If you plan on using your haul fresh, be sure you know How to Store Strawberries. If you plan on saving them for later use, move on to the next step!
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