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Pick Your Own Strawberries
Developed in 2010, Galetta is a relatively recent addition to the farm. It ripens early season and produces large, attractive, fruit with excellent flavor. The variety is highly productive and holds fruit size well through the season.
A early, mid-season variety, Daroyal produces conical-shaped fruit that have a nice red color and glossy appearance. The plant produces high yields of fruit and ripens quickly.
An old favorite, this variety has been grown on the farm for more than 20 years. It combines winter hardiness, high productivity, good appearance and color, together with an excellent, firm, large-sized berry. The large berries are easy to pick, and produce high yields over a long fruiting season. It is often planted beside Earliglow.
A mid-season variety, Allstar produces a large, light-colored, sweet berries. The glossy, firm fruit makes this variety excellent for fresh eating.
Darselect is noted for its size, color, appearance and plant vigor. It produces large, firm fruit, although it doesn't display the brilliant red color most people associate with strawberries. A mid-season variety, Darselect is highly productive and one of the best performing fields that was ever planted on the farm consisted of this variety.
A newer variety, 2016 will mark the first time we've grown Flavorfest. Adapted to plasticulture, the fruit is characterized by a bright red color and described as having an "excellent flavor profile." Fruit is large and holds its size throughout the season.
This variety is knownfor its huge berries and excellent flavor. In fact, it is widely considered the best tasting large berry. It is a late mid season variety and color and firmness of fruit has been rated as good.
Clancy is a very vigorous late mid-season variety. The berries are round and conical in shape with dark red color and have a good flavor. The plant is suited to a range of growing conditions.
A late mid-season variety, Mayflower exhibits high production and firm, high quality berries.
AC Valley Sunset:
A late season variety, AC Valley Sunset has quickly become a favorite on the farm. The plant displays good vigor, disease resistant and produces a large, light red colored fruit. It features a soft skin, so proper picking techniques are required to maximize shelf life and reduce bruising.
The latest variety we grow, Malwina features glossy, dark red fruit. Berries are large and hold their size into the season.
While picking strawberries is a fairly straight forward process, there are a few things to keep in mind that will make your next visit more enjoyable.
1. Strawberries grow only a few inches off the ground. Guests should anticipate having to bend over or kneel while they pick. Some guests bring gardeners' knee pads for additional comfort.
2. The most efficient way to pick strawberries is to choose an aisle way between two rows of plants and harvest all the ripe fruit within arm's reach.
3. Although you will undoubtedly find fruit in plain view, you will find even more growing amongst the foliage of the plants. When you pick, be sure to gently fan the leaves so you can find the fruit hidden inside the plant.
4. Don't squeeze fruit, it will bruise, thus compromising it's shelf life. Instead, gently use your thumb and fore finger to pinch the stem of the berry. We recommend leaving the hull on the berry until you plan to use the fruit.
5. Keep your container close. It will make picking go faster.
6. Listen to the field attendants. They will direct you to areas that are most in need of picking.
7. Come early. You will beat the heat and decrease the chances of picking an area where someone has already picked.
8. Take a few minutes to look around. Spending a little time finding a spot where no one has picked, or where the density of the fruit is greater, will save you considerable time.
Strawberries should be handled with care and stored properly to maximize shelf life. Strawberries should be stored in a refrigerator at 35 degrees and the hull of the berry should be left attached. The sooner fruit is refrigerated the longer it will last. Unlike some fruit, strawberries do not ripen after they have been picked. Strawberries can also be frozen. When freezing berries, we recommend washing the fruit before removing the hull. Berries can be stored in plastic freezer bags for up to one year.
In terms of consumption, blueberries are the second most popular (behind only strawberries) berry grown in the United States. Besides taste, blueberries have attracted a sizable following due to their many health benefits. The fruit contains one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables, is a natural anti-depressant, aids digestive health and some studies have shown that consumption of blueberries can improve memory and increase cognitive abilities.
And because blueberries grow in clusters on bushes, they are fun and easy to pick.
We grow a half dozen varieties of blueberries that ripen at different times. This provides us with harvestable fruit from mid-July into August. Reka and Patriot ripen first and are followed by Bluecrop, our midseason variety. Elliot, Nelson and Aurora are all late season varieties that are grown on the farm.
Picking containers are provided or you can bring your own.
Although less perishable than strawberries, care should be taken when harvesting blueberries to maximize their shelf life. Fruit should be handled gently and not squeezed to avoid bruising. Like most fruits, blueberries should be refrigerated after picking. Blueberries can also be frozen (studies have shown that blueberries don't lose any of their nutritional value after being frozen). Simply wash the fruit and throw it in a freezer bag.
Perhaps no other fruit embodies summer like raspberries. Vividly colored and refreshingly sweet, raspberries are juicy and satisfying to eat. They also offer a bounty of health benefits, from helping to control weight to possibly helping prevent cancer. A cup of fresh raspberries contains about 1.5 g of protein, 8 g of dietary fiber (about one-third of our recommended daily intake), 14.7 g of carbohydrates and only 64 calories. They're cholesterol free, low in fat and sodium and even fight inflammatory conditions, such as gout and arthritis.
We grow two primary kinds of raspberries: Heritage red and black raspberries. Black raspberries, which have stronger antioxidant properties than blueberries, typically ripen by July 1 and allows guests to pick both strawberries and black raspberries during the same visit.
Our black raspberries are grown on a trellis system which maximizes fruit production and makes for easier picking. When fully ripe, fruit will appear black in color (a dark purple means fruit isn't quite ripe) and will come off the plant with little to no resistance when picked.
Heritage is our red raspberry variety. It produces a nicely colored berry with excellent flavor and firmness. Although it is considered a fall variety, pruning and growing techniques allow the plant to bear fruit in early summer. By leaving older canes in place, the plant produces fruit that can be harvested in early to mid July. Newer canes will bear fruit from mid-August through the first hard frost of fall. This means we have harvestable raspberries, black or red, from July through September (weather dependent).
Like our black raspberries, our red raspberries are grown on a trellis system. When ripe, red raspberries will come off the plant with little to no resistance. Like other berries, raspberries are highly perishable and should be handled gently and refrigerated soon after harvest. Both varieties of raspberries, particularly Heritage, possess good freezing qualities and can be stored for months.
With more than 70 years of combined experience, we are experts at raising healthy, sustainably-grown strawberries. We raise more than a dozen varieties of strawberries that bear fruit from early to mid-June through early July. Picking containers are offered free of charge, or guests can bring their own containers. U-pick berries are sold by the pound.
Much like apples, the taste, size and appearance of strawberries varies with each variety. Below is a list and brief description of the varieties available at Strawberry Ridge.
An early season berry, this variety produces wedge-shaped fruit with a firm, brightly red-colored fruit. The berry has an excellent flavor and plants are vigorous.
There are few, if any varieties, that can match the taste of Earliglow. This early season variety produces fruit that has a firm, glossy skin, firm flesh, and medium size. Its sweet flavor makes the variety excellent for fresh eating and freezing. Fruit size tends to decrease as the season progresses.
Beginning in mid to late September, our pumpkin match opens for u-pick. Picking your own pumpkins is a great way to enjoy a fall day with your family and an experience beloved by children.
At Strawberry Ridge, we grow more than a dozen varieties of pumpkins. Sizes range from less than a pound to more than 60 pounds; colors include traditional orange, white and even green. We have tall pumpkins, squatty ones and even some covered in warts. We also have pie pumpkins for those who enjoy a traditional pumpkin pie.
Guests can choose to venture into our pumpkin patch where they can harvest their own pumpkin or choose from
our assortment of already-picked pumpkins. We also grow a number of gourds that can be used to decorate your stoop or create a striking fall centerpiece for your next dinner party.
In addition, we grow several varieties--delicata, blue Hubbard, acorn, spaghetti, butternut, buttercup, and sweet dumpling, among others--of winter squash.
We offer u-pick pumpkins through October and the season often overlaps with our fall raspberry harvest. Add to that the natural beauty and fall foliage of the surrounding countryside and you have an all-encompassing fall experience.