Grown for 50 Years in Belleville
Thank heavens, this year’s harsh freeze in early April didn’t completely destroy the strawberry crop at Eckert’s Orchards in Belleville, IL. The tasty, red baubles are now for sale in their County Store or awaiting a picking by berry enthusiasts.
This weekend kicked off the strawberry season with Do-It-Yourself pickers on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14. Next week public picking is Thursday May 17 and Friday May 18. The cost to pick is $1.99/lb. and the fields are open from 1 a.m. until 6 p.m. For the most current crop information, it’s best to check Eckert’s website.
If you’d rather buy your berries already picked, they are available in Eckert’s grocery. Strawberry treats are featured in the bakery and custard shop.
Next up in the fields are the blackberries, which should be read in about a month.
Eckert’s Tips for the Pick
- Early in the day is the best time for berry picking.
- Twist the berries off the stem. Don’t pull!
- Avoid those that are mashed or moldy.
- Small berries will be the freshest and most flavorful.
- Store unwashed berries in refrigerator and rinse before beating. Do not soak berries.
- As to measurements: 1 pint=3 1/4 cup whole berries or 2 1/4 cup sliced berries.