You can find "Strawberries Fields Forever" on the west side of highway 62,
just about 200 metres past the Foxboro Foodland
We prefer you pick in our containers
You can put them in your own at check out, thus saving on baskets.
We lost too many berries last year due to some irresponsible picking
(hunt and pick for the larger ones),
mainly by low volume pickers.
We do not want to close our strawberry fields for U-pick yet for those
people who need larger quantities to make jams, but we cannot
afford the recreational pickers who wander through the rows to sample
here and there to take home what they find to their liking and thus
making it impossible for us to tell what has been picked and what not..
Please return the baskets.
We like to do our share of recycling and we know that the baskets can be used at
least three times if we put our minds to it.
We have considered starting a refundable deposit, but for now we will try one more time
an honour system. So... Please return the containers.
After closing, just throw them in the driveway where we will find them later.
Please follow field instructions by the people in charge
For those who do not have the time to do their own picking. .
-Ready for pick-up $3.00 per lb
You can pre-order and you really should if you are planning a party or
if you plan to buy for re-sale .
As some of you know already, we have completely changed the way we
From weed infested fields, regardless of how much time spent hoeing, we will go to clean, weed free fields, -well, almost- where strawberries can thrive on a bed with plastic mulch that keeps the weeds away and with the dripline underneath they are guaranteed to have adequate watersupply without causing exessive humidity on top. Thereby reducing chances for disease, mold and rot and the need to treat with all sorts of pesticides.
Limited chemical fertilizer: the use of fertilizer is restricted to the bare minimum necessity. Such as rock phosphate and potash ( wood ashes for better fruiting). With a fairly low content of nitrogen these berries should have good staying power. Haven't bought a bag of fertilizer in more than 10 years.
We also have to keep an eye on micro nutrient levels such as magnesium, boron. Optimum nutrient levels protect strawberries from many diseases and pests.
In the years we have U-pick, the picking will start one week after the we start picking for the market.
It does not mean you will get a "picked over" field, because the first picking is only for the king berries, of which there are usually only a few per plant, while the secondaries won't be even ripe yet. We lost a lot of the kings last year because of starting too late.
New for 2009
We will be planting two new varieties in 2009. One is Jewel, and the second one is Cle des Champs a new variety from Quebec with excellent keeping characteristics. See also Varieties
Putting the tips in the growing medium
Misting on and off for three weeks, every 3 minutes 30 seconds, with ever increasingly longer intervals
Shaping the bed and laying the plastic and dripline
Putting the plantlets in with the waterwheel transplanter
And this is how it looks, virtually 100% success rate
By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms,
produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal
reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs.
Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed GM corn feed.
However if you buy local you can ask the farmer about his practices and if you want to take an even more pro-active attitude -it is your life and health after all, you can start testing your own food using a refractometer.
The reason we test our strawberries is because the strawberries will tell us
if the soil has the correct amount of nutrients.
A strawberry grown in a well balanced soil will have a Brix level of up to 16,
whereas a poor quality strawberry will test as low as 6.
Of course it also depends on the weather conditions (heat units etc.)
The strawberries you can get through the winter that everybody says
taste awfull are the ones with a Brix level of 6 or even lower.
A good soil should have as available nutrients for the plants:
4000 pounds calcium
400 pounds magnesium
400 pounds phosphate
200 pounds potassium
40 pounds nitrate nitrogen
40 pounds ammonia nitrogen
(All numbers per acre)
If those conditions are met the strawberries "taste like they did 50 years ago". Organic or non-organic is hardly relevant in such a case. The idea of organic is to produce high quality nutrient dense food without using pesticides. Nutrient dense food grown in optimal soil is highly resistant to diseases and pests.
Actually such food does not readily rot either.
NB. Our strawberries last for 5 days on the kitchen table!! (temp.20C)
Anybody serious about food should invest in a refractometer (approx. C$135 or less)
There are several lab supply outfits that sell them but Lee Valley Tools will sell you one for a good price. Just click the link
Read the Nutrient Dense Food page (Survival Food) and you'll understand why we are so adamant about the Brix levels of our Fruits and Vegetables. Optimal food is a pre-requisite for good health.
According to some doctors pretty much all diseases are nutrient related.
Harold C. Sherman of Columbia University asserts that 50 percent of the American people are starving for calcium. A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, stated that out of 4,000 cases in New York Hospital, only 2 were not suffering from a lack of calcium.
And what calcium they do have, is not used properly because of a lack of magnesium. So make sure you eat your broccoli, and spinach, especially dark-green, leafy vegetables.
A lot of the present day commercially produced food has low calcium values because of depleted soils, and management practices.
The values given by the Government are not anywhere near what is found in the produce department of today's grocery store.
Pictures taken on May 31st 2009
Last Update: February 2012
These are pictures from the experimental plot. Runnertips were taken in late summer 2008.
In September they were ready for the field. However too late for developing runners, which they are doing abundantly at the moment. (June 15)
We're again taking runner tips to propagate in a more controlled environment, while at the same time pinning down the runners in the field, through the plastic.
This field should look pretty full by next season.
Above picture shows runners crisscrossing the plastic, while below you can see a runner pinned down and already well established, producing more runners
This strawberry has been strongly resistant in ten years of field trials against foliar diseases. Very high in antioxidants and high measures of phenolic compounds, giving it a potential longer shelflife and pretty much complete absence of grey mould as well as white mould.
It is a mid-season variety
It is June 21 and the plants are beginning to bloom, some even have fruit already. They will all have to be pruned away this coming week
We want the plants to produce runners, the fruiting is for next year.
The second new variety is Albion, a so-called day-neutral strawberry, which means it does not stop producing strawberries after the longest day but keeps on producing till late Fall. We are only trying out 1000 plants to see how they survive our winters without any snow cover.
The third new variety is a well known one -Jewel- that we only got because of a mix-up at the nursery. We will probably replace that one as soon as possible with a late season variety which will most likely be St.-Pierre. A great berry with a very high level of antioxidants and phenols, giving it a longer shelf life (5 days on your table!!) aand more resistance against moulds and rot without the need for pesticides.
There is nothing wrong with Jewel. It is a lovely strawberry with good flavour and good production, but it is highly susceptible to Verticillium wilt, which is present in our soils, and since we don't fumigate we have to choose more resistan varieties, with crop rotation.
The Jewels have just been pruned and will start runnering within the next few weeks.
Tips for picking strawberries:
Call a day or two before your visit, and please call again the morning of
your visit, as picking conditions can change quickly.
Bring Mom, Dad, kids, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends; the neighbours and whoever else wants to experience some great berry picking , but please don't bring pets, because as much as we love animals, they can't be allowed out of your car. Cats do not only catch mice, they will also eat the young birds that cannot fly yet, and dogs have a tendency to mark territory, which might be a strawberry plant.
And if it is warm:
drinking water, mosquito repellent (very light, we don't have many bugs), hats, things that make picking that much more enjoyable.
We provide containers for picking into and transporting your strawberries.
If you bring your own and different from the regular quart size, have them weighed first
Pick the fully red, ripe strawberries, and please, please leave anything that's only partially ripe for the next picker. Strawberries don't really ripen after they're picked, so the half-ripe berries will never have the great flavor you expect from a strawberry.
New for 2011
We will stiil have some dayneutrals Albions, but we will most likely discontinue these in favour of some high-antioxidant new varieties:
Chambly, St.-Laurent, St.-Pierre, and Harmony.
These as well as the Cle des Champs are all hardy, prolific varieties that have a long shelf life ( 3 days and more).
The main problem with the Albions is that later in the season there much more pressure from pests (tarnished plantbug, slugs and wasps). They also produce an overabundance of runners which have to be removed by hand. Since they produce continuously you cannot "renew" the beds by cutting the tops off after the harvest.
New for 2012
We plan to have some vegetables for sale and u-pick this year. This will be in the 2nd field north of our shack: rhubarb, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, squash.
We also expect a light crop of cherries between the middle of July and the end of August. The main crop will be in 2013.
And of course there will be some free range eggs.
The winter of 2011-2012 is turning into a mixed blessing. Mild temperatures overall with nary a dip under -10 but with the continuous freezing/thawing cycles, there is quite a build up of ice everywhere. Can't help but wonder if that is going to have any lasting effect.