Strawberries signal the arrival of summer!

Strawberry season is finally here and after a slow start to the season, it’s definitely been worth the wait. Originally named "strewberries" because of their appearance of being strewn amongst the plant leaves, strawberries got their final name after farmers began bringing the berries to market on a bed of straw. Hamiltonians are lucky to be surrounded by plenty of strawberry farms offering pick-your-own and pre-picked fruit. Visiting a pick-your-own farm on a sunny summer morning with friends and family is a great way to get outside, have some fun and learn about food and farming. Don’t worry, you’ll be suprised at how quickly you can fill a basket. Picking your own strawberries will guar-antee that you have the freshest, best tasting strawberries available anywhere. Here are some tips to ensure you find the freshest, tastiest, best looking strawberries in Ontario, provided by the Ontario Berry Growers’ Association:
Look for plump, firm, deep coloured strawberries with bright green caps and no signs of mold or soft spots. Store the fruit in the refrigerator for one or two days, unwashed. Wash and hull the berries just before using them. A 12-oz basket of strawberries provides about 3 1/3 cups of whole strawberries or 2 1/4 cups sliced. Strawberries have higher levels of Vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium than most other fruits, including bananas, apples and even oranges. Check out the map or our online local food directory to find the strawberry farm closest to you and get picking! (We recommend that you call ahead to check the status of the crop and picking conditions.)

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