Strawberry picking #2 for 2009

I headed out to Thistledown Farm in Junction City yesterday to get our second batch of strawberries for the season. It was an interesting drive out River Road to the farm. The farm is about 10 miles from downtown Eugene and River Road is a main artery from downtown to Junction City. About 5 miles out, in Santa Clara, the buildings start to thin and I noticed old fruit trees, mostly apples, growing in front lawns. Probably remnants of old orchards. There were a few smaller farms along the way with hazelnuts, berries and some small scale market farming. All not long for the world though as development pushes up against them. There were signs for other strawberry u-pick operations along the way. I stayed the course for Thistledown based on the evidence from earlier in the week when my youngest son had gone picking with a friend and her mother – large, sweet berries.

Thistledown Farm Thistledown retail store

The field I picked in was of Benton and Shuksan varieties.  The Benton were smaller and tangier with classic strawberry flavor while the Shuksan were largish, deep dark red and unbelievably sweet and deeply strawberry flavored. I went for the Shuksan. The rows were fairly weedy, not too bad, and the plants showed some variation in size. There was no straw underneath the plants (not a common practice in Oregon in my area it seems) so they were quite dusty and dirty when I pulled them from the lower part of the plant (where the big ones tend to lurk). There were lots of over-ripe berries so I had to be picky. Even so, it took me only 1.5 hours to pick about 20lbs. of fruit. All in all a very pleasant trip out to a well cared for farm that has an excellent reputation in our community. I will go again.

Thistledown Strawberry field  Peach trees at Thistledown

Back home, I had to soak the berries to remove the dust and dirt. Since many were very ripe I separated them out as I hulled to have as fresh strawberry sauce for morning pancakes. The rest I packed in quart freezer bags (without sugar) and put them to freeze. I got about 10 quarts of frozen and 2 quarts of sauce. Here is the pancake recipe, it is an excellent whole grain (wheat alternative if desired) recipe that is easy to prepare if a little noisy with the blender time:

Sue Gregg’s Blender Batter for Waffles or Pancakes

Take care ’til next time,

Daniel

About dheila62

Owner of Mehu-Liisa Products, importer of the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer from Finland.
This entry was posted in Berry Season, recipes, Summer, Tips and Techniques. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s