Strawberry Picking Tips August 13 2014, 90 Comments

Strawberry picking ranks in our top 10 favorite family food adventures. It’s not too late to add this fun activity to your summer list. Grab a bucket and let’s go!


1. Scout Out a Great Location


Check for a list of U-pick farms in your area. Seek out farms that grow organic berries. When grown conventionally, strawberries are considered part of the EWG's Dirty Dozen and can be laden with pesticides.


2. Bring Two Boxes


Use one box to pick perfectly ripe berries. The best berries will be bright red and firm. Remember that strawberries do not continue to ripen once they are picked. Use your second box to collect just past ripe berries. Farmers will be happy if you help them pick their bounty and they’ll often give you over-ripe berries at a reduced cost—perfect for making jam, fruit leather or our current favorite: Strawberry Sorbet Rocket Pops.


3. Cook Up Something Delicious


Enjoy the ripe berries atop yogurt with a sprinkle of homemade granola or straight up (no recipe required). Use the just past ripe berries to make Strawberry Sorbet Rocket Pops!

Tip: Hulling strawberries is a fun activity for your kids. Place a paper clip, chopstick, and a pairing knife on a cutting board, along with a big bowl of ripe strawberries. Challenge your kids to find the easiest way to get the inside out.

A mother of two, Jennifer Tyler Lee is the author of The 52 New Foods Challenge (Penguin Random House/Avery 2014) and the creator of the award-winning series of healthy eating games, Crunch a Color®. Her family cooking adventures have been featured by Jamie Oliver, Rachael Ray, Laurie David, Pottery Barn Kids, and Whole Foods. She is a featured blogger at The Huffington Post and a regular contributor to the James Beard Award-Winning magazine, Edible.