[Peninsula] Finding good strawberries so rare in California

Everywhere I go, it’s just Driscolls, the very beautiful watery bland sour strawberry that’s taken over the world. Even Whole Foods just carries Driscolls. The only proper strawberry I had was this oblong ugly thing in France 5 years ago. Is there a local supplier in the bay area selling anything worth buying? What’s the Norcal alternative to Harry’s Berries that you can get in soCal?

Not really answering your question. This is a universal problem, the same in France, I stopped buying them in most shops here. I understand this only quite recently, strawberries have to be picked in full maturity. They will not continue ripen after harvesting. The next problem is upon maturity, it is very difficult to transport without damages being extremely fragile. I went to a farm to harvest a few months ago, with all the care, the ripe ones at the bottom were marked and had to be consumed the same day. The less ripe ones were not as great in taste.

I bet for most shops, they just got them while the berries were still pink to not get the fuss of damages in transportation.

One of the more proper berries are the ones I have in my pots at home, but I need to fight with the insects and slugs, they appreciate the mature fruits as much as we do.

I usually get mine from Tomatero in farmer’s markets. Their sweet annes are pretty good. Its done for the season this year I believe. The montereys are decent. But I have to say this year Tomatero’s is not as good as years past. Last year I got some pretty spectacular ones.

Occasionally I get from Fifth Crow.

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Haven’t tasted a really good strawberry in years. I generally refuse to buy Florida berries as they have no taste and the Driscolls have not faired much better

BTW, if you are into wild strawberries, Happy Quail Farms in East Palo Alto has them. I tried it once and I thought they were fine, but its a bit hard to justify paying the extra for them.

I don’t know. I had some of the best strawberries from Bay Area. I was never able to find the same quality of strawberries in New Jersey, New York, Los Angles, San Diego. Not to say you cannot find them elsewhere, it is just that I was able to find excellent strawberries in the Bay Area.

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I think most of the strawberries sold in North America are grown around Monterey and Watsonville area. Since its the same berries, naturally the farther away you buy them, the worse it tastes. The ripe berries i got from the farmers market sometimes go bad within a day or two.


Yes, I have had the same experience with berries going bad very quickly. I pretty much only buy at Farmers Market, typically the one at CSM. In the past I always dealt with Medina. This year I was disappointed a couple of times & finally gave up…

It’s not peak strawberry season any more, so you won’t find really good ones until next summer at the farmers market. There might still be some at a farmers market here and there. Off season they will be shipped from elsewhere and therefore picked prematurely
Don’t bother with grocery stores, their primary concern is longevity, durability and appearance. Flavor is not the priority

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Which one is CSM?

College of San Mateo on Saturday mornings.

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So I guess we’re just getting underripe strawberries that just look ripe. So go to a farm and just pick your own?

If you are ever in Sonoma County try the strawberry patch on Highway 12 in Kenwood. Their berries are very good - picked daily. They are weather dependent so the sunnier the better the berries.They usually sell til early Nov provided there are no heavy rains though best berries are in June. There is another strawberry patch near highway 16 on South of Sonoma town but the area is cooler so flavors aren’t quite as good.


Any particular farm you recommend along this stretch? Or is there only one farm?

There’s just one place. It’s not a farm , it’s just a strawberry patch - prbably about 1 acre field where they grow on site - right in center of Kenwood on east side of 12 as you head north

In today’s CSA delivery from Live Earth Farm based in Watsonville. Out of season? Not so much, delicious in fact.

Google Photos

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