Our objective at Lakeview Farms is to make your strawberry picking experience as pleasant as possible. To insure that you are picking in an area that has not been recently picked, we assign customers to their own individual aisle with a colored marking flag to be put in the straw path where ever they stop picking. Out of consideration for the customer who will pick in your aisle two days later and not wish to sort through large quantities of overripe/spoiled berries, we ask that you try to pick most of the ripe berries that are free from obvious problems. If you are inadvertently assigned to a aisle that appears to have little or no high quality pickable berries, please use the flag we provided to mark off where you stopped picking, then ask your field supervisor to be reassigned to another aisle.
For best flavor Strawberries should be picked ripe without any white showing. Unlike some fruits like banana, kiwi, pears, and peaches, strawberries do not ripen further after picking. Unless you are working with the newer California strawberries that "crunch" like an apple when you bite into them, ripe local strawberries are very soft & fragile and should be handled as little as possible after picking. Avoid pouring berries from one container to another as this bruises the berries and makes them more susceptible to rot. Protect the berries from direct sunlight and excessive heat -- donít leave them in an closed car that can get warm for more than a few minutes. Cool the berries down in your refrigerator just as soon as you get them home. Keep them cool ( 34 to 40 degrees F) until they are used.
Do not wash the berries until you intend to use or freeze them. Remove hulls (the green part) before using or freezing the berries.
If you purchased more berries than you can use in a few days, freeze the rest. Under ideal conditions (dry, cool weather before you pick and quick refrigeration after you pick) berries can be kept up to a week. It is not very often that we have "ideal" conditions in Missouri, however.