Michigan Summers Start with Strawberries

One of the first sure signs of summer in the produce industry is the arrival of strawberries. This year’s crop is already proving to be a wonderful berry crop in Michigan.
How sweet is that!

Local strawberry U-pick farms began opening late last week, and others will open this week. Growers are reporting that the strawberries are ripe for picking and looking great!

The season is a few days behind normal as a result of April’s chilly weather, said Bob Tritten, district fruit educator for the MSU Extension. “The berries took a long time to get going,” Tritten said. “Then we had one of the warmest Mays on record, and that eight days of really hot weather caught things up quickly.

There's a real flavor difference between locally grown strawberries and those available for purchase at other times of the year. Ripe local strawberries have an intense sweetness! “It’s an amazing flavor difference,” Tritten said. “There’s nothing like a field-ripe, juicy flavorful strawberry.”  Don’t you agree?

Whether you prefer already picked strawberries or to pick your own, this year’s crop is sure not to disappoint!

Helpful hints for picking your own strawberries.

  • Majority of the U-Pick farms provide containers, but you may want to call ahead and check.
  • If you would like to bring your own container to take fruit home, more than likely you can transfer the berries after picking.
  • Please remember to dress comfortably for the weather and remember you will get dirty!  It is a berry field and tends to be one of the warmest areas on the farm.
  • Tennis shoes are best, a hat and/or sunscreen are suggested.
  • You don’t have to schedule a time to pick, however, call ahead to confirm picking dates and times.

Carol Purcey, a member of the Rockford Package Supply team, her daughter Marisa Besnard and granddaughter, Liyah Violet spent the day picking strawberries at Hanulcik Fruit Farm in Ionia, MI.

Photos by MSMB Photography 

Strawberry season, like a Michigan summer, is short.

It typically lasts only about three weeks; however, strawberries freeze

beautifully and will keep about a year. To freeze, wash the berries and place them on a tray. Place the tray in the freezer until they are frozen and then place in a bag. Freezing them this way means you can take out only as many berries as you need when you're ready to eat them. Whether fresh or frozen, berries taste great in smoothies or shakes in jams, sundaes, etc. and make for a fresh, natural sweet treat!

 

 Ed Dunneback & Girls – 6 Mile Rd., Grand Rapids, MI  49544 www.dunnebackfarm.com Farm owned and operated by the Girls offers U-pick strawberries, already picked strawberries, strawberry pies, shakes and sundaes!

Here's a sampling of where you can pick your own strawberries in Michigan.

Many places also have pre-picked berries. Prices vary. Always phone ahead or check websites for picking times and availability. Sometimes farms close to allow time for berries to ripen.

  • Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Market, 3025 6 Mile Rd., Grand Rapids, MI 49544. 616-784-0058 or www.dunnebackfarm.com
  • Bob Alt Farm (already picked strawberries only), 6955 N. Division, Comstock Park, MI 49321. 616-784-1676 or 616-292-1519 or www.fruitridgemarket.com.
  • Hanulcik’s Farm Market, 1727 Jefferson Rd. Ionia, MI 48846. 616-527-3630. www.farm-grown.com.
  • Krupp Farms, 8025 Krupp Ave NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321. 616-887-8271 or www.kurppfarms.com.
  • Blake's Orchard, 17985 Armada Center Rd., Armada, MI 48005. 586-784-5343 or 798-3251 or www.blakefarms.com.
  • Spicer Orchards, 10411 Clyde, Fenton, MI. 810-632-7692 or www.spicerorchards.com.
  • Westview Orchards, 65075 Van Dyke, Washington Township. 586-752-3123or www.westvieworchards.com.
  • Verellen Orchards & Cider Mill, 63260 Van Dyke, Washington Township, MI. 586-752-2989 or www.verellenorchards.com.
  • Whittaker's Berry Farm, 6724 Todd, Ida, MI. 734-269-6612 or www.whittakersberryfarm.com.
  • Middleton Berry Farm, 4790 Oakwood, Ortonville, MI. 248-831-1004 or www.middletonberryfarm.com.
  • Rowe's Produce Farm, 10570 Martz, Ypsilanti, MI. 734-482-8538 or www.rowesproducefarm.com.

Rockford Package Supply is your one stop shop for berry trays, flats, U-pick trays and we custom print on U-pick trays, flats and shippers. If interested contact Customer Support at 800-444-7225 or visit us online at www.rockfordpack.com.