There's nothing like the taste of fresh picked strawberries! A day trip from NYC, the "u-pick farms" in southern New Jersey offer fresh fruits and vegetables for picking from spring through fall. It's currently strawberry season, and this past weekend was perfect timing to head out to the fields.
How to "U-Pick"
Upon entering the fields, an attendant will give you a cardboard tray to use as you gather your strawberries. You will see the strawberry patches have straw-covered paths for walking. Best to come early in the day to avoid crowds and the hot midday sun. You can pick as few or as many strawberries as you like, and when done, you'll stop at the attendant's shed where you can pay for the berries once they are weighed.
If you're like me, you might end up picking so many, and inevitably wonder,,,what will I do with all these? The possibilities are, of course, endless...I like to toss them in salads, smoothie bowls, etc. One year, I felt especially ambitious and made strawberry jam (then I had more jars of jam than I could handle!). Get creative with some simple recipes, such as this one:
Easy Crepes with Fresh Strawberries and Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Ingredients: (makes about 3 crepes)
- 1/2 cup biscuit mix
- 1/3 cup milk (or more, for thinner consistency)
- 1 egg
- sliced strawberries
- whipped cream
- chocolate drizzle (optional)
- Whisk the ingredients together, adding more milk to make a thin batter. Pour into greased 9 inch pan, turning the pan to allow the batter to spread into a circle. Cook on medium heat until bubbles form, then gently flip and cook until light golden color. Repeat with rest of the batter.
- Spread desired amount chocolate hazelnut spread and sliced strawberries.
- Fold in half, then in half again. Drizzle with chocolate (if desired), top with whipped cream and a fancy strawberry. Enjoy!
The berries featured here were picked at Hallock's U-Pick Farm in New Egypt, New Jersey. Best to call ahead to see what's picking before making your trip. The farm is a little over an hour's drive from New York City.
Nicoletta is a lifelong artist and art educator, with an M.A. in Art Education and Administration. She travels the world seeking cultural inspiration for her art, and has worked in fibers, acrylics, oils, and sculpture. Her current work is inspired by the reinvention of the mundane zipper, elevated to an art form into unexpected jewelry designs, and shown throughout the New York/New Jersey area as Artologie Zipper Jewelry.