A Sweet Welcome for South Florida Strawberry Season

Amy and Trew in pastry snagged Chris' first strawberry delivery and have already made this filling for one of Sunday's pop tart flavors.

Pastry sous chef Trew’s SMS came in yesterday and made it official. Strawberry season in Miami has arrived!  This morning I made a bee line to the restaurant to see them first hand and get a taste of where these seed-studded red rubies will be showing up on the menu.  First is strawberry jelly for this Sunday brunch’s pop tarts, as well as sweet, tart and creamy strawberry ice cream.  I rang up Chris Padin, Ali Lauria’s hubby who has taken over the role of forager for @MGFD_MIA since late summer, to find out where the first berries were coming from.  “Corona Farm on my Tuesday farm run.  It’s the one we’ve been using lately for eggplant and mixed squash, zucchini, and all that calabaza,” he explained.  “It’s owned by Martha Corona and her husband Lupe… They have about 10 acres off of Krome Ave in Homestead.”  You may remember the post I did on last strawberry season; Corona is what Ali referred to as Martha’s U-Pick. “They think the season is going to be good. The weather has been right for it,” Chris continued.  “Burrs and Knaus kick in next week, by Christmas… If not then, the week after they should be in full production mode.”  Try the season’s first in the Sweet section on Sunday’s brunch menu, and it’s only a matter of time before chef de cuisine Bradley Herron is making one of his crazy good salads with them.  You have until March, right before blueberry season kicks in around April, to enjoy them.  Thank you South Florida : )

Foraging Homestead Strawberry Fields

Strawberry fields forever.

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. Continue reading