Certainly you must live under a rock if you don’t know about the wonderful acres of berries that the Sakuma brothers grow in the valley. So why is it that I keep seeing residents buying those awful cardboard berries from California?! It’s one thing if you need a strawberry in November, but there’s no excuse for buying those things when there are delectable, ripe and juicy strawberries right here!
What’s more, they might have been picked by a local youth participating in their Kiddie Crew. It’s not the same as when we were young and the buses would come by early in the morning to collect teens to work out in the fields harvesting berries and cucumbers, but it does foster a sense of responsibility and gives young kids a bit of spending money.
Sakuma Market Stand is a great place to pick up a few vegetables between farmer’s market days as well. They have approximately 1500 acres under cultivation in the valley with about 15% of that certified organic to date. That doesn’t exactly make them a little guy, but they’re certainly local and family-owned.
Oh, and if you need that strawberry in November or January, consider frozen berries. They will have been picked at their peak of flavor and processed immediately. It’s not the same as fresh, but will taste better and the summer berries will be all that more precious. So eat them now! That half flat of berries cost me $10 on 7/13 and I ate the last ones this morning. Still delicious!
Some interesting reading on why eating local is important.