Strawberry Season

Strawberry season has arrived Minnesota. Bet you weren’t expecting it this early! Picking started almost a full two weeks ahead of last year and average seasons. Today the kitchen partner and I are processing a flat of berries from our picking on the weekend. It’s a much cooler day to be making jam than yesterday!

If you’d like to get in on the short berry season (3-4 weeks depending on weather), it’s best to pick this week or next. With the heat we’ve had, berries will ripen quickly and be less stable once picked. Here’s info from a Find it Local Friday: Strawberry Post from last year about Twin Cities Metro picking spots:

Strawberry season is remarkably short, but incredibly abundant in Minnesota. When it begins this week, venture out to a pick-your-own patch and start making your own strawberry memories. Bake a pie or shortcakes topped with local whipped cream. Grab some spinach at the farmers’ market this weekend and toss it with berries and a vinaigrette for an easy salad. Drop a few in a glass of local white wine.

It’s always best to call ahead for picking information
Pine Tree Apple Orchard  White Bear Lake, MN      (651) 429-7202
Afton Apple Orchards  Afton, MN      (651) 436-8385
Wyatt’s Strawberry   Hastings, MN      (651) 437-8479
Applewood Orchard  Lakeville, MN      (952) 985-5425

Need more info? Check out the Minnesota Grown Strawberry Quicklink!

Here’s three of my favorite strawberry recipes from 2011. If you’re up for a bigger project, there’s also a how-to clip of easy strawberry freezer jam I put together with last year.

State Fair Strawberry Shake

Strawberry Maple Cream Tart

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

Local Strawberry Freezer Jam


  • Amy P.

    I went berry picking today at a farm in Anoka. Even though they had just opened this weekend, the berry selection wasn’t anything like previous years – the berries were small, in much more limited supply and not as good quality as previous years. The farmer said it was due to the unpredictable weather this year and sent an email to their mailing list this evening that this year’s season will be very short.

    I’m not sure if that’s the case for other local farms, but I’d say if you want to pick berries, go sooner rather than later and call ahead to the farm first to make sure they still have a good supply.

    • Amy.Sippl

      That’s really good feedback Amy. We picked at Afton Apple Orchard and had good selection, but because of the heat the berries haven’t held up as well as in previous years. It’s sad to think the local strawberries will be gone so soon!

  • liz@carpeseason

    I’m a little jealous! Not sure my body’s up for bending over to pick strawberries just yet; I think I’m going to have to sit this picking season out! That strawberry maple cream tart looks fantastic; I’ve had such a sweet tooth since this little guy was born! Good strawberry picking info!

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