Organic Strawberries

Even though my family has been farming organically for decades, I’m not a rabid proponent of organics. Sure, there are some fairly well documented health concerns with certain types of conventionally-grown crops (particularly the fragile-skinned items, such as berries, tomatoes, and lettuces), but the whole organic movement has become much more about marketing than anything else.

That said, if I have the choice between conventional strawberries and organic strawberries, I’m definitely choosing the organic berries. We grow some of the best around on our farm. One of the not-so-secret things about berries is that, even though you can be growing the same variety, all berries are not picked equal. What I mean is that the average strawberry you’re going to buy in the store has actually been picked a touch on the green side (even though it might look nice and red). That needs to happen so the berry can survive all those miles of transport. The problem is, you pick ’em green and they’re not going to have enough sugar in ’em.

Organic Strawberries

We pick our berries ripe because we sell them right here. They don’t get transported anywhere except straight to the kitchens of our customers. Consequently, they are superbly sweet. Anyway, the photo is of one of my boys holding a handful of freshly picked strawberries. They honestly are full of sun and sugar.

9 thoughts on “Organic Strawberries”

  1. Drool. Up here, we’re still a good six weeks away from seeing fresh strawberries; until then, if we want them raw, we have to make do with the ones picked green in your neighbourhood and shipped the thousand or so miles from there to here.
    On the subject of “organic”, my man says “That’s ‘organic’, as opposed to ‘anorganic’?”

      1. No, not Canadian- German, if anything. It’s just another word for “inorganic” (and up until just now I was unaware that inorganic is the more common word here. Thanks for the education).

  2. Those berries look sunkissed and succulent. The Whidbey berries next to my parents home are small and sweet, but we have to wait until July before we can enjoy summer fruit in the NW. I’m glad you aren’t a rabid organic – I was actually slightly curious on your stance regarding the organic movement. We have an organic only family in the extended family and it always makes holidays slightly depressing. I dolike to think my garden is organic as long as you don’t count slug bait – it’s just not possible to share the artichokes with those voracious eaters!

    1. There’s some validity to the organic movement if someone wants to be a purist about contamination and food. However, I really do think the majority of that concern is over-hyped and not worth the time. I always figure if someone wants to get uptight about toxins and whatnot, they should be more concerned about plastic or household cleansers or breathing gas fumes while filling their car tank, etc. Or sugar!
      There was an interesting study done at one of the UCs some years back on organic vs conventional tomatoes. Oddly enough, they found that organic tomatoes are more poisonous for humans than conventional (though, the levels were not the sort that would affect anyone, so the point is somewhat academic). This was due to the conventional tomatoes reducing the amount of natural ricins they produced to ward off pests, as the pesticide applications were doing that job for them. The organic tomatoes, on the other hand, had higher ricin levels (ricin is super toxic for humans–I think the KFB once assassinated a defector in Paris with a ricin pellet administered via the tip of an umbrella). Aargh. We’ve got some organickies in our extended family as well. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to keep my sarcastic mouth shut.

      1. I always think it’s a matter of common sense. It seems self-evident to me that something sprayed with poison is not as good for you as something that’s, well, not been sprayed with poison. Poison is, after all, poisonous…
        But I also think that eating a conventionally grown apple is still a lot healthier than not eating an apple.
        Interesting about those tomatoes.

        1. Yeah, you’re right — it’s pretty self-evident. Though, there are some interesting variations on the poison-is-poison thought. A conventional bit of produce can be less sprayed or more sprayed from field to field, depending on: weather, what grew in the field before that crop, what’s growing in the immediate vicinity, what’s growing in the prevailing upwind direction, etc. Therefore, you might go to the market and buy some broccoli that got sprayed way less than the broccoli you buy the following week. Or vice versa. That said, the different applications farmers uses these days are all engineered to have super fast decay times.

  3. Fascinating discussion on organics – appreciate the insiders trade secrets… If I could afford organic fruits/veggies (not cereal and tortilla chips!) I would happily do so… Perhaps if all 3 boys stopped growing out of their tennis shoes every 3 months we could spend more on groceries. For now I’m grateful for high tech farmers and super fast decay. Also, I can always mooch off the organic only family over the holidays – if I’m busy eating, I won’t say anything sarcastic.

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