How to keep strawberries fresh after picking them locally

A simple method for storing strawberries in the refrigerator

Recently I took my kids for their first trip to pick their own strawberries.  It was long overdue.  I have fond memories of going to a you-pick farm when I was a kid so I’ve been wanting to take them, but life gets busy!

It was a beautiful day to pick up my mom and head out to the strawberry patch at a local farm.  My kids all worked hard finding just the right berries to pick.Strawberry fieldBefore long, we had a lot of strawberries!  It was hard to stop picking them since we can get them fresh from the farm only during a few weeks in the late spring in our area.

My mom took some of them, but that still left us with a bunch of berries.  By the time I got home with them that evening, I knew I needed to find the best way to store all of them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh as long as possible.

I had coached my kids on finding berries that were the perfect shade of medium red since I didn’t want them to be too ripe and spoil quickly.  After picking them, the strawberries seemed to be darkening fast just while stopping at my parents’ house and then driving home.

Fresh strawberries |

Some of the strawberries we harvested locally.

When I looked online for the best way to keep strawberries fresh after picking them, I found a couple of suggestions.

One used a wash of vinegar and water.  It was getting late so I wanted to try something that seemed less labor intensive.  Plus, I’ve always heard NOT to wash strawberries before storing them in the fridge.

The other suggestion I found sounded easier, so I went with it.

Well, that suggestion worked so well that I have to share it here, too.  I was thrilled to have local berries that stayed fresh in my fridge for 8 days until we finished all of them!

How to keep strawberries fresh after picking them |

How to keep strawberries fresh after picking them

The trick I followed to keep strawberries fresh after picking them?

Simply place the fresh, unwashed strawberries in glass containers in the fridge, arranging the berries in single layers with a paper towel between each layer and then putting on a lid without sealing it.  Leaving the lid unsealed allows moisture to escape, and the paper towel layer absorbs moisture in the container.

The picture below shows the top layer of strawberries on the paper towel in the container.  Don’t those berries look yummy?!  I didn’t take this picture on day 1, though.  This is how they looked on day 8 when I opened the last container! Keep strawberries fresh in the refrigerator after picking them |

These berries still tasted great on day 8!  This way of storing strawberries in the refrigerator was so simple and so effective!

I don’t know how much longer they would have been good in the refrigerator.  There were a few that didn’t look as good, but I still felt like this method to keep strawberries fresh after picking them was a great success!

Keeping strawberries fresh in the refrigerator |

Yummy strawberries on day 8 after picking them!

Now that we’ve finished all the strawberries we picked, I’m having strawberry withdrawal.  They’re definitely my favorite fruit!

Have you tried harvesting your own fruit and veggies with your kids?

Going to the you-pick farm was really fun for all of us!  After seeing the farm operations up close, my kids came home with a renewed interest in caring for our small garden at home.  I’ll be putting them to work helping me with it this summer!

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