Ripe fruits picked fresh and eaten instantly — one of our favorite pleasures of summer! Get into the spirit of warm summer days and make some good memories by heading out to a local farm and picking fruit yourself. Want to know when your favorite fruit is ripe for picking? This calendar may vary a bit based on where you live (particularly in warmer climates) but here’s a handy seasonal schedule for harvesting popular fruit, based on our home location of the Northeast U.S.
For many this is the first signal of summer! Even though people have gotten used to California shipments in their local grocery store year-round, the best berries last for only a few short weeks, so don’t miss it.
We usually don’t play favorites, but around our office, there’s a reason the cherry’s on top. Whether you’re picking sweet or sour cherries, they make one hell of a pie. Many farmers will tell you that cherries are the most challenging crop top grow because birds love them and rain will easily crack their delicate skin.
A bit of a longer season than other fruits may be why picking this fruit is so popular. Or it could be how they grow on large bushes, so no climbing ladders to pluck them like cherries and apples, or stooping over for hours picking strawberries! Packed with antioxidants, blueberries are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, so pick away!
Ensure the juiciest haul by picking them as they just ripen. Any earlier and they’ll be too hard and any later and they’ll be a bit mushy. They’re perfect when the fruit gives just slightly when you press the flesh gently, like when you’re selecting an avocado.
Besides pies and cobblers, berries are delicious on their own tossed in yogurt, or cooked into jams and jellies. Be sure to pick only when the color is vibrant red or deep black/purple (no white anywhere!) for berries that burst with flavor.
Most people are familiar with just a few varieties that are available at their local grocer, but you’ll be rewarded handsomely if you track down a farm where you can pick heirloom apples. Each variety has it’s own distinct flavor and profile. Leftover apples can be made into applesauce or cider.
Once you’ve picked a bushel, head over to our Summer Fruits Pinterest board for some delicious new baking ideas to put that fruit to good use!
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