Guide: Making the most of B.C.’s berry season – We Heart Local BC

Guide: Making the most of B.C.’s berry season

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Are you looking forward to making some sweet summer memories? B.C. berry farms are now in full swing, supplying you with fresh local strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Whether you’re safely visiting a local farm, or picking up your berries at the grocery store, B.C. berries are the perfect way to savor the summer. B.C. berry growers work hard to produce delicious berries, and they follow good agricultural practices (like good picking practices and sanitation) to make sure that you are getting a high quality, safe product. Get to know your berries better - read on for tips on choosing, storing, and eating berries, as well as where to find them! 


 

B.C. Strawberries:

The sweetest member of the rose family, strawberries have been grown for their bright colour and delicious flavour since Ancient Roman times. We are lucky that B.C. farmers grow both June bearing strawberries (available in June) and Everbearing strawberries (which can be available right through October). Look for firm, red berries with seeds slightly pressed in, and keep them unwashed in your fridge until you’re ready to enjoy them. Strawberries are very high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. While you’re probably most familiar with them in drinks or desserts, strawberries also shine in savory recipes. Use this tool to find your nearest strawberry farm or U-pick location, then head straight to your kitchen to try out these recipes. And don’t worry: if you can’t get to a farm, B.C. strawberries are often available in your local produce aisle. Just look for “B.C.” on the product label. 



 

B.C. Raspberries

An excellent source of fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants, B.C. raspberries are tart and delicious. Their slight tang makes them a perfect compliment for savory dishes, although they also give a zing of flavour to all kinds of sweet dishes, from cake to popsicles! When choosing raspberries, look for soft red berries that are fully coloured (there are also golden varieties grown by some B.C. farmers). To find U-pick farms or growers, try this tool. And when you visit, think about this - many B.C. raspberry farms are in their third or even fourth generation of growers. When you support local, you’re getting fresh fruit from a family rooted in your community. 



 


B.C. Blueberries:

B.C. Blueberry season runs from July through to the end of September, so now is your chance to indulge in fresh berries! These powerful little berries are just as tasty frozen and eating them year-round is a smart idea. Scientists are still studying blueberries to map out all their health benefits, but here are just a few of the ones that have been studied so far: blueberries have been linked to lowering blood pressure, they can fight certain cancers, improve insulin response, and they can even improve your brain function!  (Find out 10 more things you didn’t know about blueberries here.) Blueberries are ripe when they are deep blue with a dusting of gray blue on the surface - red blueberries aren’t ready for picking yet. Here’s where to find your B.C. blueberries, whether at a farm or the store.

While you’re probably familiar with blueberries to wake up salads and smoothies, here are two more unique ways to feature them at your table (and a classic blueberry pie recipe, because it’s not summer in B.C. until you enjoy a slice of blueberry pie).

 

How do you like to enjoy your B.C. berries? Let us know on our Facebook page or Instagram feed, where we'll be sharing recipes and stories from local farmers all summer long!