Love Louisiana Strawberries? Here’s How to Find the Sweetest Ones
Maybe I am a bit biased but I love Louisiana strawberries. l love the way they smell. I love the way they taste. I love all the different recipes you can make with them and I support Louisiana's strawberry farmers by making sure I only purchase strawberries that are grown in Louisiana.
The good news for strawberry lovers in Louisiana is that it is almost time. The strawberry season in the state usually kicks in at the beginning of March. The season usually lasts through April and concludes in May. But during those three months, it is a festival of fresh fruit flavor for your taste buds if you sink your teeth into a red ripe berry that was grown in the Bayou State.
Currently, there are only about 15 farms that cultivate and grow strawberries in Louisiana. Those farm families are facing the same concerns that our other farmers are facing. Namely rising fuel costs, higher labor costs and the price of fertilizer has gone through the roof and beyond. Still, local Louisiana producers are working hard to keep their costs low so you can keep your costs low at the grocery store.
As you might imagine the weather plays a significant role in the outcome of the strawberry crop each year. For example, since the past few weeks have been unseasonably warm many farmers are reporting the crop is exploding. There are lots of blooms and a lot of green fruit on the plants.
While that might sound like great news to us who enjoy the berries Louisiana producers hope we get back to more seasonable weather conditions. Warm days and cool nights are what strawberries love and if the weather is too warm it will cause an overabundance of fruit. If you're familiar with how supply and demand work then you know that will be bad news for producers.
Rain and how much rain falls over Louisiana's strawberry fields play an important part in how well the crop is received. Let me ask you this, have you ever bitten into a strawberry and it tasted watery? That's how too much rain affects the crop. That's why Louisiana strawberry producers want just "enough rain" and "not too much rain".
Because when the balance is right the strawberries come out sweeter and juicier and that is part of the reason that Louisiana berries are among the most coveted in the world. To achieve this balance water on strawberry farms is highly controlled. And that's why Louisiana strawberry farmers don't like rain in abundance. And those of us who love sweet strawberries are glad they do.
By the way, the Ponchatula Strawberry Festival is set for the weekend of April 14 through the 16th this year. The festival always features great music, exhibits, and lots and lots of strawberries.
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