DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today said Iowa is entering prime strawberry picking season and growers across the state are ready to welcome customers. The late spring has slightly delayed the berries this year, but with the recent warm weather growers around the state are reporting a good crop. Northey said “Fresh strawberries are delicious and when they are in season you get the best flavor, prices and nutritional value. Strawberries have one of the shortest harvest seasons, so don’t delay in visiting a farm or shopping for fresh berries at your local farmers market.”
It is good to call or check the farm’s website before going to a “You Pick” farm to make sure strawberries are ready to be picked and that conditions are favorable. To get the “berry” best pick, look for berries with their green caps intact. Strawberries will not continue to ripen after they are picked and are best when eaten within a few days.
To store strawberries put unwashed berries loosely covered with plastic wrap in the coldest part of your refrigerator for no more than 3 days. Do not wash berries until you are ready to eat them. Remove the green cap after you have washed them.
Iowa-grown strawberries are a delicious part of a healthy diet at only 45 calories per serving. Strawberries are low in calories but full of vitamin C, fiber, and magnesium, all of which helps with better digestion, lower blood pressure, and stronger bones.
Check out the harvest of other Iowa products by going to the website: http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/AgDiversification/pdf/FINAL3281IowaFVmagnet.pdf