Strawberries are now in season. When I was growing up here, there were far more strawberry fields in this area than there are now. Not far from where we lived in Prince George’s County, there was a strawberry farm on the southeast side of Allentown Road, near where Gennene Lane is now. Today there are just houses there.
For a few years in the 1960s there was even a Strawberry Festival held with a parade down Allentown Road, followed by strawberry shortcake and games at Tayac Elementary School. There are places in Southern Maryland that still hold them, though. Historic Christ Church in Chaptico, St. Mary’s County, just held their 23rd Annual Strawberry Festival and Bazaar on May 21, 2017. Waters United Methodist Church, in St. Leonard, Calvert County, held their Festival on May 18, 2017.
Supermarkets nowadays have strawberries almost year-round, shipped in from California or elsewhere. But right now is a great time to get strawberries fresh and local. Many farm stands have them. Another option is to pick them yourself, which will save you some money (if you feel up to doing what can be back-breaking labor). Miller Farms in Clinton, Prince George’s County, had so many folks show-up for their pick-it-yourself strawberries on Saturday, May 20th, that they had to close the field on Sunday the 21st. But they expect to open for more strawberry pickers next weekend.
Ways to enjoy strawberries
There are many recipes out there; just use your favorite search engine to find some. Here are a few ideas:
- ice cream
- jams and preserves
- or just eat them by themselves
Directory of You-Pick Farms
Our Food & Drink Business Directory has 17 entries in the You-Pick Farm section. Not all of those offer strawberries, as some offer raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, greens, and even herbs. You’ll have to do a bit of research as to who offers what and when. Maryland’s Best, a website run by the state’s Department of Agriculture, has a PDF page called Maryland Fruit and Vegetable Seasonality Charts you may find useful. (I know we’ll have a ton of blackberries in our yard in the next few months.) ♦