Strawberry Season is Here

Following much anticipation, strawberry season in the valley is finally here. We are enjoying the abundance and sweetness that comes with this crop. Terra Firma Farm offers three varieties of strawberries: Chandler, Frontera and Camarosa.

Chandler strawberries

While strawberries grown near the coast can be harvested nearly all year, strawberries in our area have a shorter growing season, making the influx of these spring gems much more valuable for our farm. As always, the ripeness and seasonality of this crop depends heavily on the weather. In years of drought, we have started harvest as early as March. With more consistent rains this spring, the first harvests came in mid-April. During late March into early April we kept a close eye on the isolated hints of pink-red in the strawberry patch – the first strawberry fruits were just starting to blush, but needed a couple more weeks before the first harvest and enjoyment of the full sweet flavor.

Most strawberries farmed in California are grown in coastal zones where the sandy soils and mild temperatures provide an advantage to the plants. Terra Firma is able to offer local strawberries that are likely harvested closer to the day of delivery. Conventional strawberry growers typically use chemical fumigants to suppress diseases like Fusarium wilt. In contrast, we use crop rotation, meaning that we rotate our strawberry planting to a different field every 3-5 years, to mitigate the risks of pests and diseases.

Strawberry plants in March – the first flowers.

We hope you enjoy our berries! We are offering them in cases of 12 pint baskets or 8 x 1-lb. clamshells for our retail buyers. One pound of berries won’t completely fill up the clamshell, so if you’d like to add more to make it a full and abundant clamshell (about 1.5 lbs), let us know! We are also looking into plastics alternatives for our containers (recyclable pints and clamshells), so let us know if this is something you’d be interested in.

Happy Strawberry Season!

The first of the ripe strawberries in our Dixon field

 

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