Schools out and summer is here! The Pick-Your-Own season is finally open at Bishop’s Orchards. In the middle of this month we opened our strawberry fields up for Pick-Your-Own. They are delicious and juicy, easily one of our most popular crops. There is nothing more fresh than taking your family and friends out for a day filled with freshly-grown, flavorful fruits! Our strawberries are expected to last approximately through early July, with varieties that we grow carefully selected due to their sustainability. Strawberries are very soft and delicate so Bishop’s Orchards has a few tips for storing. For storing fresh, and lasting up to 1 week, keep your strawberries unwashed with stems still on until ready to eat. You should only wash with cold water when you are ready to consume. If you are looking to freeze your strawberries, place rinsed, dried and stemmed whole berries on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Freeze uncovered for six hours, then transfer berries into freezer bags. Frozen strawberries can store well up to three months.

Usually at the end of strawberry season, there is a brief break before starting Pick-Your-Own blueberries. Just like strawberries, our own blueberries grow in several varieties that continuously ripen throughout the season. Starting around mid-July and continuing through late August, Pick-Your-Own blueberries have a longer availability for picking as we rotate picking areas from start to finish. Blueberries are very versatile and GREAT for eating, cooking and freezing! When you are enjoying fresh, make sure to keep refrigerated until ready to use. You should plan to use them within a few days, washing the berries under cool water beforehand. If you are looking to freeze them, wash them gently and drain on a paper towel. Once dried completely, place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and set in the freezer for a quick freeze. After they are frozen, place them into plastic freezer bags, leaving ½” to ¾” head room in the bags. When you are ready to use, defrost the bags only long enough to thaw. Frozen blueberries can store well up to three months.

Our fresh fruits are always best when enjoyed in our family recipes, available on our website. If you come out for any of our Pick Your Own seasons, make sure to check out our Bishop’s Cookbook online for recipes using our farm fresh produce. In the meantime, here are a few family favorites that can highlight our delicious strawberries and blueberries:

Strawberry Tea Bread/Muffins

Makes 1 Dozen

  • 3 Egg
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Salad Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½  teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Mix in flour, oats, cinnamon, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add strawberries and mix well. Bake for bread and muffins 20-25 minutes. Also freezes well.

Strawberry Cream Spread

Makes 1 Batch

  • 12 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 3 Strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar

Mix 3-4 ounces cream cheese, 3 small strawberries and 1 tsp. lemon juice in blender. Add 1 tsp sugar if desired. Serve with toast or strawberry bread.

Blueberry Picnic Bars

  • ½  cup All Purpose Flour
  • ½  cup Brown Sugar
  • ½  teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon Salt
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 ½ cups Blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups Oats
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8”” square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend above pan on two sides. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add melted butter and stir with fork until evenly moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve ½ cup crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture evenly and firmly over bottom of ungreased, foil-lined pan. Bake 12 minutes to set crust. Meanwhile, prepare filling. In a small saucepan stir berries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice over medium heat until simmering. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until juices are no longer cloudy, about 2 minutes. Spoon over crust.