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Home » Farm & Food Events

NH Strawberries are Here!

By Helen Brody (June 17, 2013)

Article written by Gail McWilliam Jellie, Director, Division of Agricultural Development, NH Dept of Agriculture, Markets & Food

If straw10-282x294you’ve been waiting for the sweet, juicy taste of our own native strawberries, they are here!  Luscious berries are ripening now at most New Hampshire locations and there is really nothing like the taste of fresh, locally grown strawberries.

Strawberry harvest is relatively short, typically beginning in mid June and lasting just a few weeks. The weather has a lot to do with when the season begins and the length of the season. Just as cool, cloudy weather can slow the growth and development of the plants, lots of sun and heat can shorten the season as the berries ripen faster.

Here’s a little strawberry history: strawberries were first mentioned historically between 234-149 BC. They were once deemed unfit to eat because they grew so close to the ground—there was fear the fruit would be contaminated by snakes and toads. This superstition was soon put to rest and strawberries became a popular marketplace mainstay in England and throughout Europe. Explorers to the New World found strawberries native to North America were superior in size, flavor and beauty to European varieties.

The first accounts of strawberry production, selecting for larger size and discussing soil and pest control needs were in 1697 in France. “Hudson” was the first strawberry hybrid developed in the USA in 1780. Right now you can enjoy picking your own berries at many farms throughout the state, or purchase fresh-picked strawberries at a number of farm or market outlets. Berry picking is a great family activity and many farms offer added attractions like hay rides, petting farms, hiking trails and picnic areas and more.Before making the trip to the farm for strawberries, call first to check on availability.

For information on where to go to pick strawberries near you, contact the NH Department of Agriculture,
Markets & Food at 271-3788, or log on to www.agriculture.nh.gov and check out the Harvest Your Own Guide in the publications list.

Photo Credits:

Apple Hill Farm (strawberries)

New Hampshire farms Network (recipe: red currant glazed strawberries)                                                                                                                                          glzdestra

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