Fresh strawberries (now until mid-June)

June 4, 2009

We finally made it out to pick strawberries this week, and man, was it ever worth it. That hour of early-morning picking at Sunshine Farm in Collinsville has yielded two yummy pies, multiple waffle toppings, a big bowl of chilled pudding, yogurt-granola parfaits, plenty of whole berries for the kids’ lunches, two gallons of frozen berries for smoothies and, for tonight’s outing to Shakespeare in the Park, it will provide the crowning touch to our home-grown-lettuce salads. And there are still more berries in the fridge. I tell you, if time permitted, I’d be out there every chance I got — I was more than a little jealous of the retirees who obviously were picking a bucket here and a bucket there, just because they felt like it! (At $6.50 a gallon, it’s a good deal.)

Sunshine Farm is actually a bit outside Collinsville, and it took a quick 15 minutes to drive to the farm, at 3540 Fairmont Ave. (Be sure to get directions ahead of time, at 618.345.0766, as the intersections coming off I-55 North are a bit tricky.) There are about two weeks left of the season, depending on the variety of strawberry, but the cool weather this week may help extend the harvest a bit. Sunshine Farm opens at 7 a.m. — pretty typical of all of them; at some of the busiest berry plots, like Lakeview Farms in St. Peters, the day’s harvest often has been plucked by 9:30 a.m., though Sunshine Farm typically isn’t quite that busy.  Of course, Sunshine Farm hasn’t been on TV, either, like Lakeview Farms was last week!

Other options for picking strawberries are Eckert’s in Belleville, 618.233.0513; Thierbach Orchards and Berry Farm in Marthasville, 636.433.2299; and Thies Farm in Maryland Heights, 314.428.9878.

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