Strawberries are ripe and ready to pick. At JG Ranch and UPicktopia, they are so plump and juicy the air is even fragrant with their sweetness. Though U-Picking treks may remind you of summertime, you’re in Florida and strawberries love cool weather. Available for picking on Florida’s Adventure Coast December through April – with March the peak – wintertime is strawberry time.
Florida is No. 2 in strawberry production behind California.
Strawberries are not actually berries; they are a fragrant fruit, unique in that its seeds – about 200 of them – are located on the outside of the skin. Fruit typically stores seeds inside the sweet flesh under the skin. Called an aggregate accessory fruit, they start from Fragaria plants, which are part of the Rose family and cousins of the blackberry and raspberry.
Modern-day strawberries were developed by a chance cross-pollination of strawberry varieties. The Fragaria Virginiana from North America and the Fragaria Chiloensis from South America happened to be in the same 18thcentury French garden. After 250 years of hybrid cultivation, today we enjoy the result of this happy accident.
Treat yourself and also grab a healthy dose of important nutrients. Just eight strawberries provide more potassium than a banana and contain the daily requirement for Vitamin C. Rich in fiber and folic acid, they are low in calories with no fat and no cholesterol.
On Florida’s Adventure Coast, experience the fun of picking your berries at local grower, JG Ranch.
Or, buy them already picked and packaged for you. Fresh strawberries are a treat in ice-cold milk, whipped into a frosty smoothie, piled high on a homemade biscuit for a shortcake and just fresh from the fields.
Enjoy them in fruit salads or go to the Cannery and preserve them for the future. They are popular favorites many different ways. Have a strawberry picking and tasting adventure today. Browse these great recipes.