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The two big pick your own fruits where I live seem to be strawberries and apples. Every year I have really good intentions on making all of my jam/jelly needs for the year, as well as having lots of frozen berries and applesauce canned. The past couple years it hasn’t really worked out for one reason or another. This year I approached it with a whole lot of gumption. I was going to make it work no matter what! Unfortunately, mother nature has not been working in my favor this year.
First, we started by going to the certified organic PYO. I was so excited! I typically go to a non-certified organic farm for my strawberries. I was immediately disappointed. The strawberries were tiny, and there were not many to be found at all. You have to remember that the season just started last weekend. I knew there was no way I was going to get out during the week when it was 100 degrees, so I planned to go Sunday and get as many strawberries as I possibly could. Well, at the organic place, that ended up being a few pounds before we gave up (after about an hour and a half of searching for more berries).
I decided to go to my regular place, and they had a lot more berries. The problem was the fact that most of them were over ripe, way over ripe. Not really usable for what I wanted. So I picked maybe 5lbs and called it a day. The heat of last week made the strawberries ripen extremely fast. Perhaps if I had gone on Friday, it would have been better.
The hope is that I can try again this week. However, with rain predicted every day this week, and only one day of sun next weekend, I highly doubt there will be another chance for me to pick strawberries. We have enough to snack on this week, and probably make some strawberry shortcake, but definitely not what I had hoped for.
Through my journey into local eating, I have constantly been trying to get the foods that are local to me (especially fruits) to last throughout the year. What I wonder is, what do you do if there is a bad fruit season? How do you make up for it? Do you throw caution (and wallet) to the wind and buy from the grocery store? I am going to try to seek out places to pick blackberries/raspberries/blueberries. Maybe I will be able to get enough to cover what I wanted for strawberries. And then, I can only hope that the apple season is a good one.
I am linking up at the Barn Hop.