To most people a strawberry is a strawberry is a strawberry but on our farm we grow eight different kinds of strawberries: Shuksans, Totems, Hoods, Puget Summers, Honeyoyes, Tillamooks, Puget Reliances, and Firecrackers!!
As their names suggest these are truly local, quintessentialy northwest, strawberries that taste the way strawberries should taste: sweet, bursting with flavor and truly delicious. We have been growing some of these berries so long (over twenty-five years) they could be considered heirlooms. We have stuck with them because we feel they are still the very best there is.
Our mission is to preserve these great tasting strawberries so they will be around for a long time to come. The varieties of strawberries we grow are referred to as June bearing and because they were developed for immediate consumption or freezing, they have maximum flavor and sweetness. They also have a beautiful, bright red color inside and out. But because of their high natural sugar content they do not have good shelf life. These perishable berries need to be eaten very quickly after picking. That's why we pick daily and deliver them to the markets within hours after harvest. Their season is short, generally three to five weeks, so it is recommended that they be indulged in at every opportunity.
We also grow five different varieties of raspberries: Malahats, Meekers, Cascade Delights, Coho's, Tulameens, and Cascade Dawn. And five different varieties of blueberries:Blue Crop, Reka, Early Blues, Dukes and Chandlers
As each variety has its own unique appeal, let us take a moment to begin describing the different strawberry varieties. As the season progresses, we hope to add more qualities to each strawberry variety, as well as descriptions for raspberries and blueberries too.
Hood - Good jams and jellies, outstanding flavor, poor frozen berry quality
Shuksan - Standard of the industry, excellent fresh or frozen, very sweet and incredibly juicy (perhaps the sweetest that we grow). As they are so juicy, shuksans tend to bruise easily. They are medium to large in size relative to other strawberry varieties.
Rainier - Excellent quality, good virus resistance.
Tillamook - Not quite as juicy, but still sweet. This variety is typically on the larger side.
To be continued! Happy Eating.