It has arrived – the strawberry picking season! There is nothing like a ‘fresh from the farm’ berry, they are sweet, juicy and explode with flavour. The berry picking season is short, so it is best not to put it off and to hit the patch to get your berries.
It is also good to know that our farmers are smaller family owned farms which means they may not have berries available everyday during the strawberry season. The berries all ripen at different times so the farms may have berries one day and may not be open for a day or two while the wait for the next wave of berries to ripen. We suggest that you either call ahead or follow the farms on social media to have the most up-to-date picking information and availability.
Some tips for strawberry picking:
- Always check with the farm ahead of time to make sure there are berries. Either call or follow their social media accounts.
- Wear sturdy shoes, as the patch can be muddy and have uneven ground.
- Strawberries love sun, which means it will be warm. Bring a hat and slather on the sunscreen.
- Bring some water to keep hydrated.
- Pick ripe berries so the other ones have time to ripen and the farm will have berries for others.
- Be gentle when picking the berries so you do not damage the fruit or the plants.
- Bring cash as farms do not always have credit or debit card systems.
Jackalope Farms | 2655 Rufli Rd, West Kelowna | 250-878-4162 | call ahead for hours or visit https://www.instagram.com/jackalopefarms/
Ready Pick Strawberries:
Mountain Valley Farms | 2010 Bartley Rd, West Kelowna | 250-859-4831 | Wednesday 4-6 pm
Sweet Peas Little Farm | Hudson Rd, West Kelowna | Daily
Want to try making some strawberry jam?
Here is a recipe compliments of Jackalope Farms:
At Jackalope Farms our berries live happy lives. They are spray-free and kissed by the Okanagan sun. When picking it’s important to make sure the berries are a deep red, and still glossy. If you don’t know how to pick, don’t worry we will show you when you drop by.
You will need your basic canning equipment for hot compress jamming. Nothing too fancy, just however you like to do it. Be sure to wash the berries, de stem them and cut in half. A 10lb flat of berries makes approx. 21-23 cups of strawberries. You will also need:
-1 pkg 250 ml jam jars.
1– 8 Cups of washed, de-stemmed, halved strawberries. I usually leave the small guys whole, if you like a chunky jam.
2– Bring the strawberries to a boil on medium heat, stirring semi-constantly.
3– I don’t use pectin, but if you must Bernardin makes a sugar free pectin that works well. Once the strawberries have boiled bring down to a simmer and stir while simmering for 5 minutes. If you like a thicker jam without pectin, turn off heat and leave jam to cool completely. Then repeat steps (bring to a boil and simmer while stirring).
4– Add a fun flavour! Anything you want! take chances. BE BOLD! Dare to smash the jar of jam conformity! Don’t be constrained by your family’s history- you can make any kind of jam you want! Some examples are: vanilla, cinnamon, jalapeno! Please remember to taste before adding sugar to be sure of the flavor. But taste after adding sugar too for good measure.
5-Add 4 cups of sugar, while stirring vigorously. Bring to a rolling boil.
6-Once this has happened then you’re ready to jam with your sterilized equipment!
Creative juices flowing? Give yourself a high-five and go jam to the beat of your own drum. Experiment with flavours and be curious.
~ From the Recipe Box of Jackalope Farms.