There are so many things I love about summer, but the return of farmer’s markets and fresh fruits and vegetables is definitely at the top of my list. Our garden is in full swing, the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market is officially back on our weekend must-list and my kitchen is filled with all the fresh berries, lettuce and asparagus. The fresh berries I even picked myself! Because strawberry season is on at Eckert's in Belleville.
If you’ve never been to Eckerts you are seriously missing out. It’s a quick drive over the river into Illinois and all year long you can pick your fruits and vegetables. I’ve been apple picking in the fall and pumpkin picking. But I’ve never picked my own strawberries and it’s been on my summer bucket list the last two years. So when Eckert’s reached out last weekend to come out for a visit on opening weekend of strawberry season Matt and I jumped in the car and headed east.
You grab a basket and hop on the tractor that takes you to the strawberry fields (and yes singing the Beatles is encourage). Remember you’re looking for fully red strawberries. Leave the ones with white or green alone because they do not ripen off the vine. My tipis to head towards the back of the fields, most people go with their kids and they don’t walk all the way to the back, so we got lucky and found some big beautiful strawberries. But remember! Even the ugly strawberries taste delicious. We got some crazy looking strawberries and they are sweet as can be.
Once you fill your basket with as many berries as you want, hop back on the tractor and head to the general store. It’s only $2.99 for pound of fresh picked strawberries. Plus $1 to go to the field. Back at the general store there’s so much to do, we walked around and sampled all the locally grown and made products. If you have kids there’s all kind of fun stuff like carnival rides. I also really want to go back for a cooking class sometime.
Speaking of cooking...I’ve been topping my morning yogurt with my berries but I really want to make jam! I’ve never done it before so I’m thinking of taking a stab at that next week (if there’s any strawberries left!). What’s your favorite way to eat strawberries?
Head to Eckert's website for all the info on times and seasons for strawberries and what comes next! Peach season, I'm already looking at you.
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write about my passions.