U-Pick Strawberries

Strawberry season- coming June 2016!

Picking your own strawberries at Stade’s Farm & Market is a great way to spend a summer day with your family.

Strawberry season generally begins mid-June and runs approximately 3-4 weeks depending on the weather. We will have 14 acres of prime picking of delectable red fruit available for your enjoyment!

Please sign up for our email updates and we’ll let you know the exact date that strawberries will be ready for picking. Watch our website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and our Newsletter for more information. Stade’s Farm offers other u-pick crops such as sugar snap peas, raspberries, green beans, tomatoes and pumpkins.

Strawberry U-Pick Pricing for 2016
• $3 for a 1-quart basket
• $6 for a 2-quart basket
• $12 for a 4-quart basket
• ONE 4-quart basket FREE for every FIVE 4-quart baskets purchased. Buy FIVE, get ONE FREE, but 10 get TWO FREE, buy 15 get        THREE FREE, etc.

Note: There is a $3 minimum purchase per person required to enter the strawberry patch.
Baskets are included in the price. You can only pick into Stade’s containers.

U-Pick Hours (during strawberry season)
During the regular strawberry season (approx. mid-June to early-July) we are open  daily from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. We recommend you check our website, Twitter and/or Facebook for the most recent picking, crop, and weather conditions that may effect your u-pick experience.

Farmtractions Theme Park
Stade’s Farmtractions Theme Park will be open daily from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. during U-pick season. For more information visit our attractions page.

Farm Market
During strawberry season we typically have our own homegrown asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, radishes, lettuce, and other produce depending on how warm/early spring is. Our bakery will be open daily, offering our famous homemade cider donuts and fresh-baked pies. We harvest our own local honey, (limited supply) right here at Stade’s Farm as well. The market carries many spices, soup mixes, bread and pancake mixes, as well as a nice selection of Gluten-free items.

How to Pick Berries
Choose your strawberries carefully. Leave the stem attached to the berry. Your strawberries should be a bright red color. Berries that appear orange or slightly green are not ripe. Strawberries do not ripen after being removed from the plant. The size of a strawberry does not affect how sweet the fruit will taste.

Storing Your Berries
After selecting your strawberries, take them home and gently wash your strawberries in cool water to remove any dirt. You can then keep them in the refrigerator. Strawberries make a terrific snack, dessert, or compliment to any meal. Whether you prefer strawberry shortcake, strawberry smoothies, or strawberry pancakes, the delicious taste of strawberries is sure to delight.

When purchasing berries, remember, you will want to have enough to freeze for future use. If you plan on saving strawberries for the rest of the year, freeze them when they are in season. Doing this will provide you with the best flavor and ensure you have berries to enjoy all year long.

Freezing Strawberries
To freeze your strawberries you will want to remove the tops and core from the berry. A simple trick to remove the tops is by using a straw. A sturdy straw is a great tool. (Note: The bendable kind does not work well.) Poke the straw through the bottom of the berry aiming it toward the center of the top. Press through until the core and the top easily pops free from the rest of the strawberry. This works like a charm!

After you have washed your strawberries and removed the tops, place them on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. A single layer spread across the cookie sheet works best. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the strawberries are completely frozen (about 1 hour). By doing this you prevent the berries from sticking together. Once your berries are frozen, gently transfer the strawberries into a freezer tight bag. Note: Frozen strawberries will be slightly softer after thawing when compared to fresh fruit.

Stocking up on fresh, ripe strawberries when they are in season can help keep your diet healthy all year long. A few simple steps now will have you and your family enjoying the delicious sweet taste of red strawberries for months to come.

See you at the patch,

Vern & Gayle Stade

Strawberry Facts
Nothing compares to the taste of a fresh vine ripened strawberry!

• Unlike some other fruits, strawberries do not continue to ripen after being picked.
• The strawberry plant is a perennial plant that will remain productive for about five years.
• Strawberries wear their seeds on the outside, with the average berry containing approximately 200 seeds.
• Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
• Strawberries are members of the rose family.
• When ripe, strawberries are bright red, juicy and very sweet.
• Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries. Le Musée de la Fraise
• Strawberries can also be pickled.
• Seventy percent of a strawberry’s roots are located in the top three inches of soil.
• The flavor of a strawberry is influenced by weather, the variety and stage of ripeness when harvested.
• Strawberries are grown in every state in the United States and every province of Canada.
• Strawberries are delicate and require gentle handling to prevent bruising.
• According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the annual per capita consumption of fresh and frozen strawberries is 4.85 pounds.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
-The Bible, Psalm 65:8-10