Strawberry Season in Ontario

The heat has brought out the sweets. It’s that time of the year for fresh-from-the-field, locally grown strawberries from Ontario’s passionate and “berry” special group of farmers. Even though this fruit is available year-round, summertime (specifically the months of May, June, and July) is the peak harvesting season for the most flavourful strawberries you can get. It’s the best time to enjoy the weather and seek out your own little adventures in the sun. Consider picking your own strawberries at a local Ontario strawberry farm or pick up a basket of fresh berries from one of the many local farmers we source from. Either way, we have some awesome tips and methods for you to use strawberries in all kinds of fun ways!

A scenic view of a lush green field on a sunny day, with a dirt road and utility poles running along the left side. In the background, there are several red barns and farm buildings scattered across the expansive landscape. The sky is mostly clear with a few scattered clouds, and the overall atmosphere is peaceful and rural. Wildflowers and tall grass are visible in the foreground, adding to the idyllic countryside setting.

Farmer Spotlight!

The Klyn-Hesselink family are first generation farmers who have been growing delicious, high-quality produce since 1999. Fenwick Berry Farm is located within the heart of the Niagara Peninsula where their wonderful fruits and vegetables are grown in rich, sandy soil. This family farm is run with the utmost integrity and a heavy focus on sustainable practices and environmental care. Their strawberries are consistently sweet and feature a delectable aroma than will induce memories of strawberry ice cream and those iconic hard candies with the metallic wrappers.

Dave and Christine, along with their daughters, are a shining example of the dedication that exists within the “Canadian spirit”. They provide us with the sweet fruits of their labour and are constantly looking for ways to bring their customers even better produce each year. We are so happy to have them as members of our food family and wish them continued abundance on the farm!

The image shows three baskets of strawberries on the ground at a strawberry farm. There is a hand in the top of the image holding a fresh strawberry.
A close up image of a strawberry basket being held by a person. Only the hand holding the strawberry is seen.
A bokeh image of a strawberry on the ground next to a strawberry bush.
A close up image of a hand picking stawberries from a bush.

Fun Facts About Fenwick Berry Farm:

  • You can pick your own strawberries! 
  • They use Alyssum Banker plants to reduce pesticide use. 
    • These plants attract beneficial native insects. 
    • They keep harmful bugs and pests from hurting their plants. 
  • They grow other things like raspberries, sweet corn, nectarines, and more! 
  • Most of their berry plants are planted on raised beds with mulch and straw to reduce the use of herbicides and keep the weeds away.  
  • Their fruit are watered using a trickle-down drip system that not only conserves, but also efficiently waters at the roots.

Learn more about the farm here: Fenwick Berry Farm – Home of Fenwick Berry Farm

What to do with them:

Pick ’em.

A close up image of a strawberry basket being held by a person. Only the hand holding the strawberry is seen.

If you are looking for a farm-to-table experience, consider adding a trip to a local Ontario strawberry farm onto the weekend’s itinerary. There are so many options in our province that allow you to pick, pay, and bring home fresh produce for a more holistic experience. Between the months of May and July, strawberries are grown and harvested from the field at peak sweetness. After frolicking in the fields of strawberries, head to a nice park for a relaxing picnic full of good conversation and tasty eats.

Check out this link for some helpful tips on where to start: Where to Pick Strawberries in Ontario | Ontario Culinary

Pickin’ Tips:
  • Make sure the strawberries are firm and not bruised.
  • They should have a pure color and be free of spots.
  • The tops should be green and the leaves healthy.
  • Be gentle when selecting from the store or picking fresh.
  • They should have a sweet smell.
  • Pick from the stem without squeezing the berry.
  • Avoid wet containers when selecting from your local store or market.
Storing Suggestion

Strawberries can be quite delicate as they can absorb moisture and soften quite quickly. When storing, take them out of their container and lay them on a flat surface like a plate or small platter, cover, and refrigerate. When you’re ready to eat them, give them a gentle wash, remove the tops, and pat dry with a towel.

Eat ’em.

A serving plate with fruit skewers on a wooden table. The fruits include kiwi, strawberries, peaches, raspberries and blackberries. Garnished with mint leaves.
Try Making Fruit Kebabs!

Recipes and tasty ideas!

This versatile fruit can be used in savoury or sweet dishes due to their natural tartness and sugar content. Below are some ideas to get the most out of strawberry season with innovative recipes and tips.

A sweet and tangy berry fruit salsa served in a bowl on a plate along with blueberries and strawberries on the side.


Recipe: Very Berry Fruit Salsa

This sweet and tangy salsa can get a kick of spice with added jalapeño pepper. Have it with our Sea Salt Fattoush Chips or juicy pork tenderloin medallions hot off the grill! Ripe strawberries will add a nice zing and floral quality while creating a depth of flavour.

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Strawberry S'mores on a a serving tray.


Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Strawberry S’mores

A summer night just isn’t the same without an ooey-gooey s’more! Take this decadent treat to another level with our Chocolate Chip Cookies and a fresh burst of strawberry flavour. Whether cooking in an oven or roasting the marshmallows by the fire, this will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.

A crisp, refreshing strawberry mojito kombucha mocktail in a glass garnished with mind and lime wedge.


Recipe: Strawberry Mojito Kombucha Mocktail

A crisp, refreshing drink is the perfect accompaniment to the strong summer heat. This play on a mojito offers the same vibrant flavours of mint and lime, with the addition of fresh, ripe strawberries. Feel free to add sweeteners or other seasonal ingredients to craft your own special sipper!

Save ’em.

Close up image of a bag with frozen strawberries.
Fresh strawberry jam in a mason jar along with a colander filled with strawberries on a wooden box in a field.

You can store strawberries whole or sliced in a freezer bag in the freezer. Freeze strawberries by pre-washing them, drying, and storing them in your freezer for up to a year. Another way to keep strawberries for a longer period is to turn them into preserves, jam, or jelly. Strawberry jam is great on toast and makes for quick and tasty desserts. In any way we can, stretching out fresh seasonal strawberries for as long as possible helps us savour the summer for multiple seasons!

Here’s an easy strawberry preserve recipe to get you started: Strawberry Preserve | Growing Chefs! Ontario

Some ideas:

  • Use strawberries in smoothies or sauces.
  • Blend with a little sugar or honey, juice or water, and freeze in ice-cube trays. Add to sparkling water or cocktails for a nice burst of flavour!
  • Use thawed strawberries in pastries like cakes, muffins, and cupcakes.
  • Use strawberry jam, jellies, and preserves to make thumbprint cookies!
  • Make flavoured cream cheese with your preserves.
  • Enjoy an easy strawberry dessert with pre-made angel food cake shells, whipped cream, and strawberry preserves for individual strawberry shortcakes!
A patterned image with yellow background and strawberries forming a visual pattern.

Did you know? 

  • Strawberries aren’t actually fruit or berries! They are the end of the plants stamen that has begun to flower.
  • Native American steeped strawberry leaves in tea to treat fevers.
  • Jacques Cartier, who is credited with accidentally giving Canada its name, reported sightings of wild strawberries during a trip along the St. Lawrence River in 1534!
  • The black seeds on the strawberries surface are the actual fruit.
  • Ancient Romans used them to treat ailments from depression to sore throat.
  • Strawberries grow in every province!
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