Fresh Eats Blog: Strawberries

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: strawberries.

Did you know Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen each spring?

Did You Know?

Did you know strawberries are not really a fruit or a berry but are the enlarged receptacle of the flower?

This low calorie food is in season in South West British Columbia for the months of June through to September. Strawberries are very high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.

 Recipes of the Week

Asparagus Salad with Strawberries, Radish, and Goat Cheese

Makes 2 servings

500 g (1 lb) fresh asparagus
125 ml (1/2 cup) sliced fresh strawberries
125 ml (1/2 cup) thinly sliced radishes
15 ml (1 tbsp) each snipped chives, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
15 ml (1 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
60 g (2 oz) fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Step One- Trim ends of asparagus and wash well. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt.
Have a bowl of ice water handy to chill asparagus after cooking.

Step Two- Drop asparagus in and boil for two minutes until just tender, then drain and plunge into ice water to
chill. Remove after it cools completely, drain and chill until ready to assemble salad.

Step Three- Arrange asparagus on a platter and top with sliced strawberries, radishes and
chives. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil,
if desired. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

Strawberry Salsa

1 pound strawberries, diced (~2 cups)
1/4 cup red or green onion, finely diced or sliced
2 tbsp Aji (heat level of your choice)
1 tbsp KICS Lime or Lemon syrup (or fresh juice)
salt to taste

Courtesy of Karen Curtis with Kics Lemonade. 

Ingredients at the Market

Strawberries: Beckmann Farms, Floralia Growers and Mandair Farms
Asparagus: Amazia Farm and Langley Organic Growers
Chives: Amazia Farm, Langley Organic Growers, and Red Barn Plants and Produce
Radishes: Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farm, Langley Organic Growers and Ripple Creek Organic Farm
Cheese: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Steps on How To

Strawberry Planting 101:

Step 1- Plant at the right time. This is determined by which plant you have chosen. For example, large fruiting varieties of strawberries are best planted in the summer while other varieties can be grown in late spring.

Step 2- Choosing a sunny spot to let your plant grow is key. The plant can produce strawberries in partial shade but the crop won’t be as successful as one in full sun.

Step 3- Ensure the plant has the right nutrients. Strawberries like rich soil full of well-decomposed organic material.

Step 4- You may choose to place the root ball into a bucket of water to soak for about an hour. This can be a helpful transition from pot to ground and helps the roots stay moist.

Step 5- Dig a hole in your chosen planting space. Ensure the crown of the plant is above the soil line.

Step 6- Pack the soil tightly around the plant and as an option, place mulch around it to help retain moisture and stay weed free.

Note: Strawberries need moisture so make sure the water meets the root of the plant- but be sure to not over do it!

Strawberries in B.C.

According to the B.C. Strawberry Growers Association, around 30 producers have been growing fresh strawberries in the Fraser Valley for over 30 years. There are plenty of growers in the Lower Mainland to choose from, so get out and buy local!

Berries are grown commercially for export and of course, local consumption. The producers of strawberries in B.C. are required to follow guidelines set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.