Saturday, June 11, 2016

It's strawberry picking time in Michigan

Strawberries from Middleton Berry Farm, picked June 11, 2016.
The strawberries are ripe for picking at Middleton Berry Farm of Ortonville. The official start date for the U-Pick farm is Wednesday, June 15, with planned hours of 7:30-10:30 a.m. or until picked out, as conditions permit. Hours vary due to quantities and weather, so check before driving out. Call (248) 831-1004 or find them on Facebook, Middleton Berry Farm.
Strawberries are $1.80 per pound. It is recommended to bring your own container and have it weighed before picking, although they have boxes to purchase. 
Also, be sure to bring cash or check, because they cannot accept credit cards.

When I was out there this morning, Stacy Janiga said, "It's pretty easy picking today, there's lots of big red juicy berries." And she was right.
"When the berries are ripe, they will nearly fall off when you pick them," she said. 
She and her sister Carrie Janiga, the owners, recommend washing the berries with the stem on, this prevents water from getting inside the berries, which loses the flavor.
The sisters purchased the farm in 2014 from longtime residents Bill and Barb Middleton. The Janigas hired staff who previously worked for the Middletons.
Stacy said they are trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
"Our strawberries are grown using IPM (Integrated Pest Management). This means we use minimal chemicals and use organic solutions when possible, including hand weeding of all fields."

Middleton Berry Farm
Address: 4790 Oakwood Rd, Ortonville, MI 48462
Phone: (248) 831-1004
Directions: Go five miles east of Ortonville Road between M-15 and M-24. From I-75 take Exit 84 (Baldwin Road). Go north on Baldwin Road 10 miles to Oakwood Road, turn left. Farm is one mile on the left.

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