While I was visiting my family in the Finger Lake last week I went hydroponic strawberry picking… Hydroponiwhat?
Hydroponic. As in hydra (water) and ponein (labor).
Still not making sense? Wikipedia defines hydroponics as “a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.”
Still not making sense?
THIS is their strawberry patch looks like.
No muddy sneakers. No squished strawberry stain on your bum. No bugs. No kneeling/squatting and moving over with your little red flag every 18 inches.
My hands didn’t even get dirty! They make you cut the strawberries with a pair of scissors. And you have to use anti-bacterial soap before you can go in.
You are supposed to cut as long a stem as possible, because the longer the stem is the more energy the fruit has. Thus, lasting longer.
Why hydroponic farming? Well, we spoke to the owner for a little while. Basically, the method he uses requires a LOT less water and he can better protect the fruit from diseases and pesticides.
Oddly enough, I thought we were at the tail-end of their season’s pickings. But then the owners told us they just opened last week. While most strawberry patches are in-season in June, the hydroponic farm is in season from June through Halloween!!
They are smaller than normal strawberries, but delicious! A pop of sweet, fresh flavor.
(P.S. Jellies (as in shoes, not strawberry jam) are coming back. My friend Abs saw them and got them for me. Woot! Thanks Abs!)
My official review: It was lovely. While the slaving under the sun in the dust and accidentally sitting on old strawberries is nostalgic (and still a good time), this was quick, clean and easy! If old-school berry pickin’ is the Goodwill clearance rack, hydroponic berry picking is Macy’s.
Have you heard of hydroponic farming before? Have you ever picked hydroponic strawberries?