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Long Island - A very special place we get to call home.

The Art of the Strawberry Search

You may think spending an hour in the strawberry patch searching for a treasure of perfect berries is an easy feat. But I’ve been down that road, or in this case that row, before; and I can share some insights that may prove helpful.

Tips & Observations

· When you first arrive at the farm, don’t go for the low-hanging fruit. Bypass the crowd bottlenecked near the entrance and make your way to far corner of the patch, an area reserved for serious two-fisted pickers.

· You will start out very selective about your harvest, bypassing mediocre berries knowing there are rubies in waiting. After a half hour with seven decent berries in your container, with lots of open space to fill, you lower your standards and reassess your harvest. Your berries get paler, smaller, misshapen, some with a few craters. But all good enough.

· If you’re bringing the kids, you may have a different experience than others. “Look at this one” every 12 seconds,” “What kind of bug is this?” “That’s a funny looking snake,” and “I have a bellyache.”

· Wear shoes or sneakers you wouldn’t mind newly decorated.

· It’s always hotter at the strawberry patch than anywhere else on Long Island. Dress appropriately, or better yet wait for a cloudy or cool day.

· Look up every once in a while, as there’s a tendency to drift very far away from your peeps (I’ve actually wound up picking with the other families).

· Light colored clothing sounds counter-intuitive, but you'll want to spot any curious ticks before they start their march toward your scalp.

· If you’re going to indulge, it’s best to keep it to yourself. One guy at the patch kept yelling to his friends “Jeez if I eat one more they’re gonna have to roll me outta here.”

There are at least a dozen farms on LI where you can pick, and you’d have to go soon as the season is starting to wind down. Let google be your guide. We went to Golden Earthworm in South Jamesport, a really beautiful spot with an abundance of berries.

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