Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Berry Pickin' Good!

Whether you pick strawberries from your own garden or at a Pick-Your-Own farm, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Be careful that your feet and knees don't damage plants or fruit in or along the edge of a row.

Remember that heaping strawberries more than 5 inches deep will bruise the berries.
Only pick the berries that are fully red. Part the leaves with your hands to look for hidden berries.
Remove berries that show rot, sunburn, insect injury or other defects and destroy them.

Pick berries for immediate use any time, but if you plan to hold the fruit for a few days, try to pick in the early morning or on cool, cloudy days. Berries picked during the heat of the day bruise easily and will not keep well.
Keep picked berries in the shade and cool them as soon as possible after picking. Berries that have been handled carefully will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.

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