It may have been summers in Maine for sleepaway camp as a kid that has made me associate berries with the north, often forgetting that we have such a strong contingent of local farmers growing them during the Florida winter. After reading forager Ali Lauria’s field report last night and devouring her photos, I don’t think I will ever have that problem again. She has been pretty busy lately with the arrival of the main growing season, so I feel especially lucky that she took the time to send me this update from her adventures in Homestead strawberry land with Martha’s U-Pick, Burr’s Berry Farm, and (the not quite ready for harvest) Knaus Berry Farm.
Strawberries are almost fully available!
On my regular run to homestead this week I passed by the two main farms that provide those sweet florida strawberries that we have available at this time of the year. I also went by my new regular stop at Martha’s U pick on Krome Ave and to my surprise, she had some delicious berries ready for me to pick right off the ground.
Knaus Berry Farms is starting a little late this season because they couldn’t get their plants on time. It’s going to be at least another week or two until they can fulfill our weekly order. It will probably be sooner for the “u pickers”. Their field is super green and full of plants but no red color popping out just yet.
Right now they are offering you pick tomatoes bagged lettuces, peppers and cucumbers. There is always long lines for their their delicious sticky buns and other goodies from their bakery as well as their well known strawberry milk shakes.
Burr’s Berry farm doesn’t offer people to pick their own berries but those lucky early birds that get there in the morning can take home beautiful little baskets. They told me that after the first of the year they should be able to have enough to supply us. Their field is looking very much like christmas with a lot of green and red. Their stand also offers homemade strawberry cinnamon cakes, banana bread, homemade strawberry, mango, mulberry, and hot pepper jellies and fresh produce. They also have a separate window that sells milkshakes.
Martha’s U pick is this little stand on Krome Ave that I found about a month ago. One day I was looking for calabaza and I stopped by to see what they had. There I found Martha, a warm and friendly mexican lady with lots of goodies and information to share with me. She has a lot of different things growing: tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplants, round and grey zucchini, lettuces, radishes and strawberries!
I’ve been getting this beautiful baby eggplants (purple and thai) and baby round and grey zucchini or summer squash. She also had some gorgeous radishes last week that were super fresh and bright. She has become part of my weekly foraging, always happy to see me and share her latest harvest.
— Ali Lauria
Get your tummy grumbling with the rest of Ali’s images from the field on our Flickr.