After dealing with the Polar Vortex for what has seemed like an eternity, we have finally had plenty of glimpses of summer weather & temperatures. And while this week hasn’t exactly been summer-like, we’re looking ahead to a nice weekend and (if the forecast sticks) a pretty toasty week next week. This can only mean one thing…the growing season is FINALLY upon us! And when there’s a growing season…there’s a picking season!
May is prime time in St. Louis for strawberry picking (which means you should also start seeing lower prices on these berries at the supermarket if you just don’t have time to pyo.) Eckert’s begins its annual strawberry festival tomorrow (5/17) at their Belleville Farm but if you can’t make it to Illinois, never fear! There are plenty of other PYO farms around the St. Louis area that will have strawberries ripe and ready this month!
You might want to try one of these great area farms this year for strawberries:
Thies Farm in Maryland Heights, MO (Will begin picking tomorrow! May 17!)
Ordelheide Farms in Wright City, MO (Will begin picking any day now…)
Thierbach Orchards and Berry Farm in Marthasville, MO (Began picking on Tuesday 5/13!!)
Unfortunately, from what I can tell reading postings from many of these farms above and others is that the peach crop in our area was very badly damaged or destroyed at many PYO farms. Very few farms are reporting that they will be able to offer PYO peaches this year, which is so disappointing, but unavoidable when temps were as cold as they were this past winter. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that next year the peach crop will be able to bounce back in our area.
However…all is not lost! Most PYO farms are prepping not only for strawberries, but also blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and tomatoes…and looking ahead to the apple crop in the fall! So many wonderful opportunities for teaching our children about where food actually comes from (you know…not just the local Schnucks), and enjoying some quality family time getting some exercise and fresh air! (Not to mention super fresh, often less expensive produce!)
Have you ever picked your own produce? My family has enjoyed picking strawberries, peaches, and apples in the past and I look forward to getting out there for blueberries, blackberries, and cherries this year too!
Stay tuned…I’ll share a great recipe for those berries you’ll be picking next week!