There are ways of buying local strawberries at an affordable price when you don’t have enough home-grown produce.
When I was a child, we used to eat our garden strawberries fresh. My mother was buying some in the trade when she wanted to make jam, because however large the strawberry bed in our garden, it was still not enough to satisfy our strong appetite for the sun-kissed little red pyramids.
Here are two solutions to buy local strawberries at reasonable prices in France and the UK, which should be useful to people who don’t have a garden, don’t grow strawberries on a large surface or don’t apply performant enough gardening methods to get a high yield.
In the South West of France, some local producers who sell directly to the consumer may sometimes have enough strawberries to sell at lower prices to make jam. The period and quantities available depend on cultivars and may also vary from year to year depending on weather conditions, so it is good to talk to them early enough and pre-order when possible.
The 6kg of strawberries will make a super premium jam. ‘Gariguette’, ‘Cléry’ and ‘Mara des Bois’ cultivars. Photo 30th May 2015, local market, Aurillac, France.
Pick your own
In the UK, pick-your-own farms such as Garsons’ in Surrey sometimes organise half-days of strawberry picking at low prices. I think the last time we went there to take advantage of such an offer was in June three years ago. Hopefully they still do it. The best way to figure out is to subscribe to their e-newsletter or call them, more details on their Pick Your Own Update 2015 webpage.
Update: yes they still do it: