Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sustainable Saturday - Strawberry Fields Forever

Don't these strawberries look luscious?

They aren't just any strawberries.  These are cutting edge strawberries, grown in a special way that may become more mainstream one day.

We picked those on Wednesday - fresh, at a farm in upstate New York about 30 miles from Syracuse, New York, where (for "normal" strawberries, the season would have been over in late June).

These strawberries are not your normal strawberries.  They were grown, outdoors, hydroponically, on a U Pick farm near Skaneateles, New York called Strawberry Fields.
These are grown in vertical towers.  They are everbearing strawberries, which bloom throughout the season.  The berries we saw had both flowers, small berries, and ripe berries, all on the same plant.

The berries are not officially organic, but are grown as naturally as possible.

Each tower has a number of pockets, each of which contains a strawberry plant planted in a non-soil planting medium.  The ground around the plants is covered so you are never walking in mud.  Even someone with a back problem, such as me, can pick these with no problem.
Each visitor to Strawberry Fields is given a basket, lined with a plastic bag, with a pair of scissors at the bottom.  You snip the stem and gently place each berry in the basket.

You pick as many as you want, and pay by the pound.

How you use the berries are up to you. I eat them plain (no sugar, no cream - even before Weight Watchers, I loved my berries in the natural way) but you are welcome to use them in recipes.

These berries are grown as annuals, since, basically, they are grown in containers, and probably wouldn't overwinter in our northern climate.

And the best part?  The "small world" factor.  We visited this farm twice on a recent visit to Skaneateles.  The first time, we were helped by a young lady.  The second time, we were helped by her mother, and found that the young lady of the day before goes to college where we live, and lives just a couple of miles from us.

That's why I love travel.  Even if you don't travel far (and this was less than 100 miles from where we live), you can experience something brand new.

Have you ever eaten hydroponically grown fruit?


  1. Wonderful post and sharing - love you berry adventure - and yes I have eaten hydroponically grown fruit and vegies! :)

  2. Strawberry picking so fun! Thanks for sharing :) Shared

  3. I've never eaten hydroponically grown fruits or veggies. But they look delicious!! Visiting from Blogger's Corner :)

  4. Sure don't know if I want anything for every. Our raspberry just got finished. But now I'm thinking of strawberry short cake.
    Coffee is on

  5. This is the ideal way to grow strawberries--if you have all the equipment needed and if no water restrictions applied one hot summer. Hehe.
    Reminds me of the time I lived back in the tropics of Queensland, Australia. I planted native strawberries on raised ground beneath 'lady finger' bananas. Those were the days of back to the earth living. The strawberries were small but soooo tasty.

  6. We didn't go strawberry picking this year! *Sad face*
    I used to love it when I was little, my Mum makes amazing strawberry jam!

  7. These look delicious!!!! The hydroponics way of growing the plants is so interesting, I will definitely try to go there next time I am in the area!


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