In Season: Strawberries
You can smell them before you see them. With a fragrance as alluring as any perfume (they’re members of the rose family), strawberries are among the most exciting of early season farmers’ market finds. Stock up while you can!
Mid-May through mid-June is prime time for strawberries in New Jersey, dependent upon weather.
at the market:
Look for strawberries that are plump and firm with a bright red color and natural shine. Size is not important; color and fragrance are the best indicators of flavor. Caps should be fresh, green, and intact. Avoid soggy or leaky cartons.
Strawberries thrive best in well-drained soil, whether in the ground, raised beds, or hanging planters. Choose a site with full sun all day or at least eight hours of direct sunlight.
Allow strawberries to fully ripen on the plant. Best picked in the morning when cool. Leave the green cap (calyx) attached to the fruit to increase storability.
Eat strawberries as soon as possible after picking. If delay is necessary, remove from market cartons and refrigerate in shallow containers for up to one week. Do not wash or hull until just before eating.
Approximate number of NJ farms where you can pick your own strawberries in season. Visit ediblejersey.com/pick-your-own-strawberries for a complete list.
Amount of strawberries the average American eats per year. Most are eaten raw while others are baked into pies or made into jam.
Did You Know?
A ready-to-eat strawberry will be red on the inside as well as the outside. A whiteish inside indicates the fruit was picked too early, usually for shipping. Strawberries allowed to fully ripen on the vine will be shot through with color and flavor.
Number of tiny seeds on the outside of a typical strawberry.