Press-Republican

Local News

July 8, 2013

Strawberries plump for picking

Tips for making the most of the pick-your-own experience

(Continued)

“Don’t wear your Sunday finest,” she said. “Wear your work clothes. As my mother would say: ‘Put your play clothes on.’ ”

TASTE TESTING

Guests can bring their own containers — almost anything will do — or Rulfs sells small baskets for 20 cents. The containers are weighed when empty and then again when they’re packed full.

Facteau said it’s important to keep in mind that larger containers of eight pints can weigh more than 8 pounds. It may not sound like much, but when navigating a crop field with kids in tow, it’s something to consider.

Facteau also joked that sometimes they should weigh the guests.

“Well, they eat so many in the field while they’re picking,” she quipped.

Facteau said that sampling as you’re picking is totally acceptable pick-your-own etiquette.

“Of course it is,” she said. “And we’ll know anyway. When you come up to pay with your face all smeared with strawberries, we’ll know.”

PICKING TIPS

Facteau said there’s always someone on hand to help people find the ripest berries to be picked, adding that there are some serious berry pickers in the North Country.

“They pick from 1 to 50 pounds,” she said. “You could spend a good part of the day.”

And for those in the berry-picking long haul, a nearby Porta-Potty is set up to accommodate guests. Pickers are also in direct full sun when those rain clouds depart, so wear appropriate sunscreen. Patrons can probably ditch the bug spray.

“It’s never really buggy down here,” Facteau said.

Be prepared to do some crop-picking calisthenics.

“Some folks scoot along on their butt, some pick on their hands and knees, some people squat, some bend over,” she said. “Everyone has their own picking pose.”

Look for the largest flower on the plant.

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