Of all surprises in my garden, my strawberries are still producing. I moved their bed into the shade during that terrible heat spell. The other bed, I put a shade cloth over it and hoped for the best. That bed survived also, but not as well. Every time I see the bright red globe peeking out of the leaves, I am a woman on a mission. There are many berries out of those beds that never make it to the kitchen. A gentle wash, a chair in the shade, my knitting, and I am in heaven. I had dreams of strawberry jam (which is still a reality), a fresh strawberry pie, or a bowl of strawberries with each meal. However, this year, I am just enjoying mine from the garden. I bought a crate of berries from my local farmer to make the jam.
Taking Care of Your Berries
Whether you are growing your berries or buying them from the store, it is disappointing to have the berries growing mold in your refrigerator after a few days. Berries are perishable but need the care to extend their longevity. When you first obtain the berries, it is important to prepare them for storage. Soak your berries in the vinegar bath for five minutes, remove the berries, rinse until you can’t smell the vinegar anymore, and pat dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels. Store them in a bowl, lined with either the dishtowel or paper towels. The vinegar retards the growth of mold and eliminates bacteria, insects, dirt, or other problems.
This little rinse extends their life for at least a week. If you see any signs of mold after that, rinse them again. Mine never last that long as I eat them fairly quickly.
Vinegar Bath for Fruits and Vegetables: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar in 3 cups of cold water.