Every year, it’s a surprise that Florida fruit ripens so much earlier than I’m used to. Growing up in the Toronto area, my brain has strawberry season being a summer thing. Having them be pickable in early March is somehow hard to remember. I’ve been in Florida for about 7 years now, and this season was no different.
By the time I got out to the fields, the berries had passed their peak. Most were overripe, and rotting on their backsides. Finding ones ready for harvesting was a challenge. I suppose that’s what makes this year more memorable than others, though.
This memory isn’t only about the strawberries. The weather was gorgeous, with the morning sun warming my heart, just as much as it did the air around me. I also didn’t go picking alone, so we were all able to bond on the difficulty we faced to find the best possible fruit.
When all was said and done, I came home with a drastically overpriced bunch of relatively tasteless strawberries. I soaked them in a bath of sugar water, and ended up making a strawberry banana bread with them. It was edible, but certainly nothing worth writing home about.
Blueberries come into season next. They should be hitting their peak in a couple weeks or so. I’ll do my best to remember to go pick them in their prime.
For now, though, I’m happy to be back making memories. It had been a while living as a hermit.