How to Care for Berries
A lot of love goes into growing and harvesting Wish Farms strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Follow these berry care tips to keep your berries fresh and flavorful.
- Store your berries in a dry container
- Always keep your berries refrigerated
- Gently rinse your berries under cool water just prior to use
- To enjoy their natural sweet flavor berries are best served at room temperature
Strawberry Care & Handling
Harvesting strawberries is a true labor of love. Strawberries are one of the only fresh fruits picked and packed by hand directly in the field. Unlike a banana, strawberries do not continue to ripen after they are picked, so be sure to avoid white shoulders and seedy tips.
When selecting strawberries look for:
- Strawberries stored in a refrigerated display case within the produce department
- Bright sheen with even red color
- Clean berries and dry container
- Fresh unwilted green leaves (calyx)
Wish Farms harvests several different strawberry varieties based on the season and growing region. The appearance of strawberry varieties does vary. Some varieties are a lighter or darker shade of red. Some are dense in the center and some are hollow and light inside. The tips above will help you select the freshest strawberries available.
Remember to keep your strawberries dry and always store in the refrigerator. Rinse the strawberries under cool water just prior to eating. While washing, keep the green caps on and use a paper towel to pat dry. Ideally, strawberries should last approximately three to five days in your refrigerator. Freshness does vary.
Blueberry Care & Handling
Blueberries are handpicked then sorted and packed with the help of a blueberry packing line. Harvesting blueberries is a multistep process with a lot of care and attention along the way.
When selecting blueberries look for:
- Blueberries stored in a refrigerated display case within the produce department
- Plump and round shape; size will vary but does not reflect the freshness
- Clean berries and dry container
- Free of shrivel, dents, or bruises
Unlike a strawberry, the ideal sheen of fresh blueberries should have a soft dusty white coating called “bloom.” Bloom is a natural part of the growing process. It provides a defense mechanism helping to protect blueberries from harsh sunlight. The size of the blueberry does not determine the flavor. Some blueberry gems can be extra sweet and some more tangy. Our favorite way to enjoy the many flavors of fresh blueberries is to pop them in your mouth three at a time. The tips above will help you select the freshest blueberries available.
Remember to keep your blueberries dry and always store in the refrigerator. Rinse the blueberries under cool water just prior to eating. Ideally, blueberries should last approximately five to seven days in your refrigerator. Freshness does vary.
Blackberry Care & Handling
Blackberries are picked and packed by hand right in the field. Harvesting blackberries is a delicate process.
When selecting blackberries look for:
- Blackberries stored in a refrigerated display case withing the produce department
- A very dark plum color (red or purple berries are not yet ripe)
- Clean berries in a dry container
- Free of shrivel, bruises and leaking
Store your blackberries in the refrigerator to keep them fresher longer. Rinse under cool water just prior to eating. Blackberries are best enjoyed once they reach room temperature because the natural flavors are enhanced.
Freshness does vary. Ideally, blackberries should last approximately three to five days in your refrigerator.
Raspberry Care & Handling
As a raspberry grower, Wish Farms takes great care in picking our raspberries so that your family gets the most delicious berry possible. Raspberries grow on a bush plant that has several fruit-producing canes (branches). They are a delicate fruit that is carefully picked by hand and fresh packed in the field.
When selecting raspberries, it is ideal to choose:
- Raspberries stored in a refrigerated display case
- Clean berries in a dry (not leaky) container
- Plump and red raspberries (varieties may vary in color darkness)
- Raspberries free of shrivel, dents or bruising
Raspberries do not ripen after being picked, therefore our raspberry harvesters select only ripe, red berries. Due to their highly perishable nature, it is important to eat or freeze your raspberries within 3 days of purchase.
How to Freeze Berries
The best way to keep Wish Farms strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries on hand all year long is to freeze them and preserve for later use. Frozen berries are perfect for making smoothies and protein shakes, jams and jellies in addition to countless berry recipes.
- Gently rinse berries with cool water.
- For strawberries, cut the green caps off the top. For blueberries, remove any stems.
- Pat lightly with a towel to soak up the water.
- Allow time for the berries to thoroughly dry.
- Evenly lay berries on a cookie sheet.
- Place cookie sheet into the freezer for approximately 2 hours; or until berries are completely frozen.
- Pour frozen berries into large plastic zipper bag and seal tightly.
- Write the date on the plastic bag and store in the freezer.
- Frozen berries will keep well for a year or longer.
- When thawing, know that berries are better eaten when still a little frozen so they aren’t completely mushy.
- It’s best to use frozen berries for cooking, sauces, or smoothies.
- Frozen blueberries make a great grab-and-go snack.