We are in the midst of one of our best strawberry seasons we can remember — the second in a row.  Harvest started early, despite a few hiccups, and has continued for an entire month.  Although we are working with two “new to us” varieties, we’ve been happy with the quality and flavor of the berries and hope you have been as well.  As always, the flavor of strawberries depends on the weather, and can change from week to week.  Meanwhile, the plants look great and still have plenty of green berries and flowers on them.  With a little luck, we should have 2-4 more weeks of harvest.

We’ve been growing strawberries at Terra Firma for 25 years, but some years our relationship with the crop feels borderline dysfunctional.  It’s not the berries’ fault though.  We put a tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform in a place to which they are not entirely well-adapted.  Even in a good year, the season is short and can be impacted dramatically by the weather. But during the drought years of the twenty-teens, we had a string of mostly terrible strawberry seasons marked by extreme heat that burned up the berries and/or strong winds that damaged the plants.  We came very close to giving up on the crop entirely.

In the end, we stuck with it because of you.  We feel that berries play a critical role in generating anticipation, excitement and satisfaction among our CSA subscribers in a season where there isn’t much else on offer.  And with back-to-back wet winters this year and last, we’ve been reminded that the berries are one of the few things we can count on to harvest in April and May.  That’s because they are planted way back in September, and will grow and produce almost no matter what happens during the winter — short of a massive flood that washes them away like what happened in Watsonville in 2023.  We’ve never lost a crop entirely.

Strawberries also offer us a fairly unique opportunity to get our CSA subscribers out onto the farm to harvest a crop themselves:  U-Pick.  Picking ripe berries in the warm sun on a beautiful spring morning is a a special experience, especially if you have small children.  Barring any unfortunate weather events, we’re going to have our U-Pick on Saturday morning, May 10th.  Look for an email with details this Friday, May 3rd.  Tickets will be available for purchase at the webstore on Monday.