In an interview with NPR, Marvin Pritts, a Cornell horticulture professor, said the sugar content of mass-produced strawberries has decreased over time. Strawberries have been bred to be bigger and higher yielding, but many believe that super-market strawberries have lost their flavor. Cornell said, “The first thing I do is look for where they are grown. If I have a choice, I buy the strawberries that are grown closest to where I live, because I know that those are the ones that are probably going to be picked the closest to being fully ripe.” He said that just because a strawberry is red, doesn’t mean it’s ripe.
That’s where the new downtown farm market comes into play. Located at the corner of Scioto & Main in Circleville, The Farm Stead Market sells many fruits and vegetables grown on their farm near the Ross County border, including strawberries. The market owner, Suzie McMullen, said the strawberries we sampled today were picked this morning from that farm. She said they try to source as much as possible from local sources, including her sister who also grows produce. Other products like the honey, jam, and hot sauce are also sourced locally.
My review of the strawberries, is that they are small, bright red throughout, ripe, very sweet, and in high demand. We picked up the last carton for the day, to the dismay of the couple who came next. McMullen said the stand is open 5 days a week, excluding Monday and Tuesday. Their hours are:
- 10 am to 7 PM, Wednesday through Friday
- 9 am to 7 pm on Saturday
- 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday