Community

Strawberry season is here

There was a time when strawberry season lasted two or three weeks, and in Langley  the eagerly-awaited local berries were one of the first signs that summer was finally here.

Fraser Valley residents of a certain age can remember when the arrival of local strawberries was a sure sign of summer, heralding treats like strawberry shortcake, strawberry sundaes, or U-pick berries eaten right off the stem.

While strawberries are available year-round, local berries are only available for a very short period. Due to the cool spring weather, their arrival has been delayed, but strawberry farmers finally have some available.

Going local means consumers get a flavour burst that’s unmatched by berries grown in other regions, which are often picked before they are fully ripe and then transported long distances.

Buying local is even more important to many consumers, thanks to the popularity of “the 100-mile diet.”  The principle is a sound one:  support local producers and make greener food choices by buying locally.

In the Lower Mainland, the concept has been embraced by everyone from chefs at some of B.C.’s most prestigious restaurants, to individuals who simply love to offer delicious home-cooked meals from locally-sourced suppliers.

B.C. strawberry growers are proud and pleased to be a significant part of this growing trend towards a new food outlook. With a fruit crop that’s unmatched in abundance, flavour and versatility, local strawberry growers are well-placed to provide buyers with product that’s the epitome of flavour and freshness.

Although this year’s spring has been cool and wet, local berries are quickly catching up as more seasonal weather returns.

Growers predict that this year’s crop will easily match the flavour and quality of warmer years.

“You can have a really cold wet spring and all it takes is a few warm and dry days in June, and they catch up,” says Sharmin Gamiet of the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association.

What sets B.C. strawberries apart? First and foremost, flavour.  Local strawberries are instantly recognizable by their burst of old-fashioned berry sweetness, proof that the berries have been picked when perfectly ripe, meaning their sweetness is natural.

Strawberry growers will provide consumers with the best that nature has to offer.

For information on Langley strawberry farms, and for a full range of recipe ideas, go to the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association website at www.bcstrawberries.com.

or follow @bcstrawberries on Twitter.

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