Monday, July 22, 2013

Berry picking: Better late than never

Fresh berries in the straw.
Nothing tastes more like a Northland summer than a freshly-picked strawberry. The more juices running down your chin the better. After weeks of painful delay, pick-your-own berry season is underway.

Kids picking strawberries in the field at Finke's
Last year the strawberry season was almost a complete washout. With a late spring frost followed by mold-inducing June floods, the harvest was less than a quarter of what it could have been.

This year's harvest is late but bountiful. We went to Finke's Berry Farm late last week, about forty minutes south of Duluth and just off I-35, and picked four gallons of lush, ripe strawberries. One hot night in the kitchen later, we have a stockpile of delicious natural strawberry jam ready for a year full of PB&J's.

This was a few days ago, more like 14 picking days remain now.
For more information on picking at Finke's, "Like" them on Facebook. That way you'll get the latest updates on picking times. Oh, and those in the know call them "Fink's", not "Fink-ee's"

The other local strawberry pick-your-own farm is in Oulu, Wisconsin. Johnsons Berry Patch saved my summer and our kids' lunches last year after other local strawberry farms got washed out. Johnson's has been growing strawberries since 1951 and are not quite as modern as Finke's. So no Facebook page. All I could find online is this description. It is a lovely drive out past Brule and along a charming backroad.

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