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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Derrick-Mills

Strawberries at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm

Strawberries Grown at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm

Green strawberries growing on plant
Strawberries growing at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm

Strawberries are one of the hundreds of crops that we grow at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm. There are many varieties of strawberries, but in 2024, we are

we are growing four types a Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm: Ac Valley Sunset, Flavorfest, Galletta, and Malwina. We grow multiple varieties to elongate the season (some come early and some come late) and because variety means that if something happens -- too much or too little rain, too cold or too hot, a particular kind of pest -- then having more varieties means that at least some are likely to survive and make it to our customers.

How Strawberries Grow at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm

In 2024, we have 2,500 plants. Each year we have grown more plants, and we experiment with how we grow them. Lots of plants doesn't always mean lots of strawberries -- it depends on so many factors.

In 2023, we started growing the strawberries in raised beds. The beds rest on top of old barrels that other folks in farming and bee-keeping donate to us. They don't look the prettiest but we are recycling them, and they were not used for chemicals.

  • We grow inside a fenced area which means we don't have to worry about serving them up for the deer.

  • Keeping them elevated means they are old of reach of ground level poachers such as rabbits, field mice, and other furry creatures who slip through or under the fence.

  • And, raised beds are easier on our backs as we pick the berries.

Last year, we thought that raised based would also reduce the weeds. We were wrong. So, one big improvement over last year was designed to address that issue.

  • We use landscape fabric to cover the ground around the strawberry patch, and to cover the soil around each strawberry plant.

  • In addition to reducing the weeds, it also helps to control the amount of water each plant absorbs (so much rain this spring!). And, fewer weeds means fewer pests, too.

It is a long journey to get strawberries we can sell in May. Farmer Mark was building the new beds in December 2023-January 2024, restocking the beds (transferring some old plants and planting many new ones) in February, redoing the irrigation, and tending them March up until the day you buy them.

How to Get Strawberries at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm

Fresh pints of strawberries on a red tablecloth
2023 Strawberries at Chocolates and Tomatoes On-Farm Market

We will have strawberries for our opening day on-farm market which starts on May 18, 2024. They will probably be with us through at least mid-June. Come out to see us 9am-1pm on Saturdays. We accept cash, credit, and debit. We sell them by the pint.

If they are ready, they will also appear during our May Chocolate Shop hours (May 7, 5:30-7:30pm and May 11, 10am-Noon).

You can learn more about how we grow our strawberries and how to make sweet and savory strawberry treats in our Celebrating Strawberries class.

See/hear Chef/Farmer Mark (who is also a culinary instructor at Frederick Community College) in this video about growing and eating strawberries made by the USDA.

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