We wait patiently all year long for berry season. In fact, we rarely buy strawberries unless they’re in season and/or local. Fortunately, the wait is over and ripe Manitoba strawberries are here! Today we’re sharing our best tips and tricks if you’re looking to pick strawberries in Manitoba!
Strawberry picking season typically starts at the end of June and only lasts a few weeks. Make sure to take advantage of this season when you get the chance! Not all berries are ready for picking at the same time, raspberries and blueberries ripen later in the season, for example.
The Prairie Fruit Growers Association website is a great resource for finding all types of berry picking farms that are close to you. They also list some other important information about the farms (think: parking, all fruits available to pick, other family friendly activities) as well as some berry-filled recipes!
A few helpful berry picking tips:
- Pick berries than are evenly red – avoid the green ones (they’ll be ready for the next person in a week or so!). Also avoid ones that are already rotten or moldy – they will impact all the berries around it in your bucket.
- Typically at farms you pick berries into 4L baskets and they usually range in price (about $12-15). We try to get as much as we can into the basket but try not to smoosh them.
- If you’re not interested in picking, may farms offer 4L baskets for sale but expect to pay more than the U-Pick price.
- Bring the whole family – many farms are family friendly and may have other activities that you and your little ones may be interested in.
- Keep your freshly picked berries refrigerated and use them up as soon as you can!
- Freeze your berries whole or stewed, turn them into jam, or try drying them. Turn them into crisp along with some of your fresh rhubarb!
Our personal favourite farms are Grenkow’s Strawberry U-Pick and Boonstra Farms but all the U-Picks have their pro’s and con’s so use the Prairie Fruit Growers Association website to find the best farm for you!