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In Season: Red Delicious Strawberries

Chillicothe’s Hirsch Fruit Farm grows springtime’s must-have berry.

- Photo by Rachel Joy Barehl for Little Eater

Strawberry jam, strawberry ice cream, strawberry pie ... oh my! It’s officially time to get your hands on the best pick of the year and put it to good use—we won’t blame you if “good use” means straight out of the carton.

While you might have seen early-season strawberries in the grocery stores, those berries are typically imports from the coasts. Mass producers in California and Florida use what’s called the plasticulture strawberry growing method, which utilizes grow beds covered in plastic to help them ripen sooner. But here in Ohio, fifth-generation farmer Steve Hirsch of Hirsch Fruit Farms prefers the traditional method of matted-row growing. While the crop may not arrive to market until late May or even early June using this method, the outcome, Hirsch says, is “a softer berry with lots of juice, well worth the wait.”

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