Holy guacamole, strawberries are 88 cents a pound at my local Town and Country grocery store! Apparently there is a bumper crop going on in Florida. There are so many strawberries that farmers are actually plowing under their fields of ripe berries because they can't sell them for enough to cover the cost of picking them. Now they can get their next crop of melons in the ground and hopefully get some early ones that will bring a higher price.
A flat of strawberries can be up to $20 in Florida during early spring before the northern states have started producing. Right now, a flat is worth only about $5.90 to $6.90, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics released Wednesday. Most farmers can't afford to pick for less than $7 a flat. Some farms are opening their fields up to locals offering U-pick and others have agreements to sell to a processing company that slices and freezes the strawberries.
What caused this over load of strawberries? Florida had an unusually cold winter with several freezing nights. When the strawberry plants revived and spring came along they snapped out of it and all produced a lot of fruit at once.
It's still a little too early for strawberries around me in Northwest Indiana. Probably the end of this month into May and June I'll be able to get fresh local strawberries.
In the mean time, I hope you support the farmers and enjoy cheap Florida strawberries. I'm thinking I might even cut and freeze some to enjoy this fall and winter on pancakes and what not or perhaps strawberry jam? When life gives your strawberries, what do you make?