The first crop of strawberries are on their way. You’ll find June-bearing, and everbearing or day neutral berries now. When selecting berries, choose those that are full, dry, glossy, and have their green caps. Spread on a plate, then sort out those that are damaged or decayed, and cover loosely with wax paper before refrigerating. Handle berries as little as possible. Wash under cold water quickly and carefully, right before using.
Freeze berries soon after picking. To freeze whole berries, after washing, remove green tops, then place whole strawberries on a tray and freeze. When solid, pack into freezer bags or containers. Berries can also be sliced before packing and freezing. Strawberries retain their texture better when frozen in a pectin syrup than if frozen in water or juice.
Strawberries also make great freezer jam or cooked jam.
Adapted from: Strawberries, by Joanne Austin, former WSU Extension Faculty, WSU Extension Skagit County and Garden Bites: The Straight Scoop on Strawberries by WSU Extension Clark County Master Gardeners.