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Monday
Apr172017

Red, Ripe and Renegade: Berries That Break All the Rules

The New York Times:  It ought to be easy to find a single ripe strawberry to sample in a 20-acre field. But Rick Gean picked two bright-red specimens and looked dubious.

“This one should be O.K.,” he said, sounding not quite convinced. Then again, his definition of ripe is more stringent than most.

Mr. Gean and his wife, Molly, own Harry’s Berries, a strawberry farm on the inland edge of this coastal city north of Los Angeles, where they do nearly everything wrong, at least according to the gospel of modern commercial berry farming.

The Geans grow Gaviota and Seascape strawberries, known for sweetness and flavor but not for productivity or the ability to survive shipping and days in a supermarket produce department. Until five years ago, the only place to find Harry’s Berries was at Southern California farmers’ markets — and today, the markets still make up 70 percent of the farm’s sales.  Read more >