Apparently there is a long standing superstition about mentioning strawberries among farmers — to say that the “s-berries” are doing well might jinx the whole crop. And such a wonderful little fruit! Who would want to jinx it?
Ours are rolling in. We’ve picked about 8 quarts from our little patch. The berries at the CSA are just starting to come in as well. As strawberries are highly perishable, they need to be used or preserved very soon after they are picked. At home we leave the berries on the vine until they are very dark red. The darker they are, the sweeter they are!
Since school is still in session (and will be for some weeks after our bad weather), I don’t have time to make jam just now, so I freeze the berries. Here’s how:
- Wash the berries. While we don’t use any sprays on our berries, they are fertilized with composted chicken manure.
- After the water drains off, lay the berries in a single layer on some towels until they are completely dry.
- Cut the hull (green top) off the berry and lay out on a cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer. I leave them in overnight.
- Transfer the berries to gallon freezer bags to store.
Easy, right? And then when I am ready to make jam, I defrost them overnight, right in my big measuring bowl. Or if my children want smoothies, I take out a handful of frozen berries. I found this to be a really convenient method of preserving the berries!