I hear often that getting kids involved in gardening and allowing them to see the growing process helps them be more open to trying the fruits and vegetables. First hand, I’ve seen this both work and not work, but that’s a story for another day. Most kids are already open to trying strawberries, nevertheless going strawberry picking makes for a fun day on the farm.

The earliest berries we have in Oregon are Hood strawberries. If you haven’t heard of Hood strawberries, they are very sweet, red all the way through, and rather delicate. So they must be eaten right up. We’re so lucky to have picking fields just a few minute drive away.

Things to do with your picked berries

Once the kids tire out in the picking fields (or your back is sore), it’s time to get those berries home! There are so many ways to fix up strawberries. But the key is to do it that day or the next day. Any longer than that, and you risk them going bad, even if they’re in the fridge. Here are a few ways to use your berries up quick.


Wash ’em up, cut off the stems (hull) and have at it! Simple as that. You could add some whipped cream, or use them as a topping for any number of foods… ice cream, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal…

Washed and hulled Hood strawberries

Homemade strawberry shortcake


This turned into my husband’s father’s day gift. The shortcake was delish. The berry sauce (berries + sugar) was delish. And homemade whipped cream can’t be beat. This is the recipe I followed.

Strawberry Sorbet

I’m a big fan of making sorbets. Sorbet keeps the wonderful taste of fresh fruit around just a little bit longer. Using less than 5 ingredients, strawberry sorbet is surprisingly simple to make at home. Check out the simple strawberry sorbet recipe here.

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet

Hood strawberries ready for the freezer

Freeze for Later

To freeze, I laid out washed and hulled berries on a parchment-lined baking sheet. After freezing them for about 40 minutes, the berries were put into labeled freezer bags. I can’t wait to pull these out in a couple of months when Summer is almost over!

In Closing

We had so much fun picking berries in early June, that we went back a week later. What’s funny now, is that the first trip was much more fun and relaxed than the second. The second trip ended quickly. There was whining and complaining about the work of picking and a potty accident for the little one. But we still managed to get home with a few pints of fresh berries.

Happy eating!