Bright red, juicy and sweet, strawberries are popping up at the Watsonville Certified Farmer’s Market.
Long a summer favorite, the appearance of strawberries usually means the warm weather is upon us. Biting into a sweet, juicy strawberry brings to mind days at the beach and picnics in the sun. The weather is not quite there yet, but enjoying a basket of strawberries from the market can be enough to transport us to those balmy days of summer soon to come.
California is responsible for over 80 percent of strawberries grown in the U.S. Almost half of those strawberries are grown right here in Watsonville. With sandy soil, warm sunny day, and cool damp nights, Watsonville is prime strawberry country. In fact, strawberry farming is a $300 million dollar industry in Santa Cruz county, employing over 30,000 people a year.
High in vitamin C and folate, strawberries are a healthy sweet treat. Strawberries are picked ripe and do not ripen further after picking. Look for strawberries that are bright red and slightly shiny, with fresh green caps, to ensure berries that are ready to eat.
Other market offerings this week will be chard, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli, potatoes, onions and peppers.
Shopping at the farmer’s market is a wonderful way to connect with your community, support local farmers, and eat seasonally.
The Watsonville Certified Farmer's Market is held 3-7 pm every Friday on the corner of Peck and Main streets. The market is open rain or shine.