I would like to say a few words about real strawberries before the season ends, which just may be in the next 12 seconds. Sadly for my limited brain capacity, it has taken me far too long to come to the place where I understand the seasonal nature of things and attempt to honor that at all times. Just look at this photo. These are real strawberries. They were grown not 30 miles from here. Please notice they are not gigantic. Please notice there is no huge white core in the middle. Please notice how juicy and beautiful they are all on their own.
They are also fragile, which is why you must eat them within a couple days of their harvest. That is why you will never see them in a grocery store. What you see in the grocery store are berries that have been bred to withstand being shipped thousands of miles and stored for comparatively long periods of time. That is why you can buy strawberries in November, even though their natural season is in April and May.
You eat fruits and vegetables in season because that’s what you’re supposed to do. They taste better. They taste real.
I am lucky to have the greatest farmer’s market in all of North America not 5 miles from my house. A blessing and a curse. A blessing for the obvious reasons – organic produce brought to market in season at the peak of its freshness (although I saw a few tomatoes for sale last Saturday – I don’t know how they snuck in there because it is not tomato season yet). A curse because I have a hard time in the produce section at the grocery store now. Almost none of it is in season. Terrible, terrible tomatoes available year-round. Why does anyone buy them? I haven’t a clue. Oranges in August. So nasty.
It’s also a curse because if you live by the sword, you must die by the sword. And that means between December and April it is dark leafy greens, turnips, winter squash and radishes. However, how sweet is that Saturday when you go to the farmer’s market and the strawberries are there. And you know you will only have them for three or four weeks.
Blackberries. They’re next. Three weeks at most. Blackberry cobbler is coming. Support the farmers who eke out a living because of the courage of their convictions. Buy seasonal. Don’t be a weenie.