I always relish June 1 every year. Typically Oregon strawberries start to ripen and are just waiting to be plucked and eaten. Every year we take the kids to a local u-pick and pick strawberries. We eat a lot of them over the winter so we pick a bunch and freeze them. There is nothing like waffles with Oregon strawberries and fresh whipped cream on Christmas morning. (Seriously, waffles and hot cocoa rock!)
Finding organic strawberries is hard because slugs love them. I grow some organic strawberries in my yard here in Salem Oregon every year and it’s a constant battle with the slugs…This year my beer traps prevailed! A local u-pick Fordyce Farms, is not organic but they spray minimally for the crop. If you have never been picking there, they are located off of Sunnyview Road to the east side of Salem. It’s close enough in that it’s easy to head to for a quick trip with the kids.
I suggest bringing some fresh water to clean off the strawberries because they will get eaten in the car on the way home. We’ve learned to bring some bowls and clean some for the kids who can barely wait to eat the fruits of their labor.
If you are relocating to the Salem Oregon area and want something to do with the kids, or you like to cook like me…considering heading over to Fordyce for strawberries. They also have a fruit stand there if you just want to buy them. When you get home consider making some fresh strawberry pie, or homemade jam.
Here is my jam recipe.
- 2 pounds fresh Oregon strawberries, hulled
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- In a food processor pulse the strawberries until they are mashed (or you can mash them with a potato masher). In a saucepan, mix the strawberries sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, then increase the heat. On high heat bring the mixture to a full rolling boil and it reaches 220 degrees. You can put it in sterile jars, or just store in the fridge to be eaten right away. If you eat it right away, it may taste too sweet but the lemon and sugar meld together nicely in 24-48 hours.
Enjoy, what our local farms have to offer Salem Oregon area residents!