Our organic strawberries are just coming into their own, and we’re starting to pick the first decent quantities in readiness for the Saturday Stroud farmers’ markets and your veg boxes and fruit bags over the coming weeks.
Ripened in the sunshine, we pick our strawberries when they are ready to eat, and so recommend you eat them within a day of getting them home. Why? Unlike the growers who supply the supermarkets, we can choose whatever varieties we want. And we choose our strawberries for their flavour—not ‘maximum shelf life’ or ‘robustness’ to survive many days of transport or storage or ‘cosmetic appearance’.
Because we know our strawberries will get to you within a day or so of picking, we can choose the best tasting varieties and be confident they will be at their very best when they reach you. Supermarket growers, on the other hand, are contracted to grow varieties that have been specifically bred to not only withstand being picked, packed and transported to stores right across the UK (and often imported from abroad), but to then sit on the shelves for as many days as possible and still look ‘fresh’. That’s why supermarket strawberries—sadly even the organic ones you’ll find there—are inevitably bland, tasteless and ‘woody’ in texture. They pale in comparison (literally!) with the freshly picked strawberries you’ll find in our boxes. In fact, you’ll probably never find our chosen strawberry variety, Elan, in the supermarkets, because it doesn’t store or transport well at all. Pick and eat an Elan strawberry when it’s ripe and you will (*ahem*) taste the difference…
But it’s not just the better taste: another benefit of buying from a veg box scheme like ours is that our freshly picked strawberries–in fact, ALL our veg and fruit–are bursting with health-giving minerals and vitamins, flavonoids and antioxidants. Basically, all the good stuff your body needs. And being Soil Association certified organic means fewer pesticides, so less of the bad stuff. Not to mention almost zero food miles and keeping money in the local economy–not shareholders wallets!