Farmer Pete Ambrose typically starts selling his beautiful strawberries in March. This season his staff started harvesting in December.
"It's just crazy weather," says Ambrose Family Farm staffer April Clough. Each year Ambrose Farm has seen the strawberry season inch earlier — last year they began picking in January — but this is the earliest yet. And the early harvest could be a problem for the farm's annual you-pick berry patch.
"This might be a problem for how many berries we have for our you-pick field later this spring," says Clough. But for now it's a boon for local chefs who have been buying them by the flat. Clough has already sent some to S.N.O.B., FIG, Park Cafe, Warehouse, and Obstinate Daughter.
"They're still the same big, juicy, sweet berries," she says. "I had them on my cereal this morning."
Over at Boone Hall Farms it's the same story — strawberries popping up all over. "We're going to hold on opening the you-pick," says Boone Hall produce manager Dylan Keim. But you can get a quart of the fresh berries now for $5.99 at Boone Hall Farms Market.