California Strawberries: year-round

Saturday  Ruiz Farms of Santa Maria joins the market and has fresh California strawberries.    Just tie a ribbon around the box and you have a perfect gift.  Step it up and make some chocolate dipped strawberries.

A gift for someone or something to perk up winter menus – California strawberries in the market this Saturday.



No Fail Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Strawberry Salads

Main dishes

Best-ever strawberry pie

California Strawberry Facts

Strawberry production shifts between north and south with the changing seasons. Fall and winter production starts in October in Ventura County and reaches south into Orange and San Diego Counties in late December or early January. Production in the south generally extends into April or May. Staggered planting schedules in the Santa Maria area bridges the seasons, with the harvest beginning in March, and continues into the late fall.

California’s northern strawberry growing region is south of San Francisco and includes Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties and some acreage in Santa Clara and San Benito counties. Watsonville and Salinas account for almost half of the state’s strawberry acreage. Shipments from northern areas begin in April, peak in May or June, and continue through November.

California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries. In 2011, more than 2.1 billion pounds of strawberries were harvested. That amounts to 88 percent of the country’s total fresh and frozen strawberries. California’s unique coastal environment with its western ocean exposure provides moderate temperatures year round. Warm sunny days and cool foggy nights are the perfect combination for growing strawberries.

Strawberries are the sixth most valuable fruit crop produced in California.