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Juiced up for summer with strawberries

Long Island is home to several farms where

Long Island is home to several farms where you can go to pick fresh strawberries. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Biting into a plump, red, juicy strawberry warm from the sun and fresh off the vine is one of the pleasures of June. It is even more enjoyable when hunting in a patch where the plants are bursting with berries.

Yes, its berry-picking time on Long Island, and the picking will be easy, thanks to a strong crop and nice weather.

"We'll have plenty of berries. The weather hasn't been hot, which is good for strawberries," says Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht, co-owner of Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market in Riverhead. "We have a lot of blossoms, and I think the flavor will be good 'cause they've been growing a little more slowly."

John Condzella of Condzella's Farm in Wading River also is expecting a great season.

"The cooler weather we've had slows the ripening down," says Condzella. "My crop looks beautiful. Last year was very good, and the way things look now, this season will be better."

GOOD TO KNOW

Of course, everything agricultural depends on the weather -- so call before you go.

"So many people come on the weekend that patches can be picked out by Monday or Tuesday," Kaplan-Walbrecht says. "But, if you can come on Wednesday or Thursday, there are so many ripe berries."

When you get your strawberries home -- if you can resist the temptation to eat them all in the car -- there are ways to ensure your berries will stay nice longer.

Both Kaplan-Walbrecht and fellow farmer Gail Glover advise washing berries just before you're ready to use them.

"Refrigerate them unwashed," says Glover of Glover Farms in Brookhaven. "If you wash them too long before using them, they'll get moldy."

Glover also advises that when picking, pick them deep red for eating that day, but a little less red if you want to store them for a day or two.

Here are some U-pick patches:

Anderson Farms

1890 Roanoke Ave., Riverhead

INFO 631-727-2559

HOURS 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (closed Tuesday)

PRICE $4-$5 a quart

Condzella's Farm

6233 North Country Rd./Route 25A, Wading River (3miles east of William Floyd Parkway)

INFO 631-929-5058, condzellasfarm.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

PRICE $2.75 a pound, 75 cents to $1 container fee

Crossroads Farm at Grossmann's

480 Hempstead Ave., Malverne

INFO 516-881-7900, nassaulandtrust.org

HOURS 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (closed Monday)

PRICE $5 for half a pint, $12 a quart

Densieski Farms

Lewis Road, East Quogue

INFO 631-653-5221

HOURS 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

PRICE $4-$7 a quart

Fritz Lewin Farms

Corner of Sound and Edwards Avenue, Calverton (about 3 miles off Exit 71 on the Long Island Expressway)

INFO 631-727-3346

HOURS 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

PRICE $4-$6 a quart

Garden of Eve Organic Farm

4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead

INFO 631-722-8777, gardenofevefarm.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

PRICE $4.50 a pint

Glover Farms

633 Victory Rd., Brookhaven

INFO 631-286-7876

HOURS 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

PRICE $3.75 a quart, $1 container fee

Golden Earthworm Organic Farm

652 Peconic Bay Blvd., Riverhead

INFO 631-722-3302, goldenearthworm.com

HOURS 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 9a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

PRICE $4.50 a quart

Hank's Farm Stand

324 County Rd. 39, Southampton

INFO 631-726-4667, hankspumpkintown.com

HOURS 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

PRICE $5 a quart, each person needs a container to enter field.

Lewin Farms

812 Sound Ave., Wading River

INFO 631-929-4327, lewinfarm.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily (closed Tuesday)

PRICE $2 a pound ($4-$6 a quart)

May's Farm Stand

6361 Rte. 25A, Wading River

INFO 631-929-6654, maysfarmny.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

PRICE $4-$6 a quart

Patty's Berries and Bunches

410 Sound Ave., Mattituck

INFO 631-298-4679, pattysberriesandbunches.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily

PRICE $5 a person to enter field, includes one quart of berries

Rottkamp's Fox Hollow Farm

2287 Sound Ave., Calverton

INFO 631-727-1786

HOURS 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday

PRICE $4 a quart; container fee

Wickham's Fruit Farm

28700 Main Rd./Route 25, Cutchogue

INFO 631-734-6441, wickhamsfruitfarm.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

PRICE $4.50-$6.25 a quart; $20 annual family U-pick membership

Windy Acres Farm

3810 Middle Country Rd./Route 25, Calverton

INFO 631-727-4554

HOURS 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

PRICE $3.50 a quart, $12 for 4 quarts; $1 to enter field

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