"When we're in full production, you can squat in one spot and fill a bucket," Jason said.
The Hartleys provide the buckets for pickers and the cardboard flats to take them home. Returning customers often bring their used flats with them, an effort much appreciated by the Hartleys. They cost 45 cents a piece. The plastic containers cost 35 cents each.
Strawberries are $1.25 a pound if picked by the customer or $2.50 a pound for those picked by the Hartleys. Even the senior Hartleys help harvest the crop. "His mom is 68 and his dad is 80. They're both here picking every morning," she said.
They also sell strawberries daily in season at the Capitol Market for $3 a pound. Judy loads as many as 300 plastic containers in her Ford Explorer. Customers who stop by their stand at the market later in the day are often disappointed to find them sold out.
Although Judy said she gets a little tired of strawberries about this time of year, her husband eats them every day, either in shortcake, cheesecake or her quick and easy strawberry pie (see recipe).
Landon Hartley likes his strawberries with shortcake and sugar. His neighbor, Leonard Brown, who was keeping him company in the shade on day last week, said he likes them folded into a strawberry glaze and topped with whipped cream.
Jason's favorite way to eat them? "Just fresh is pretty good."
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.
Judy's Quick and Easy Strawberry Pie
Yield: 2 pies
2 graham cracker crumb pie crusts
1 8-ounce block cream cheese
8 ounces whipped cream topping
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 packet strawberry glaze (usually found in the produce section)
1 pound sliced strawberries
MIX cream cheese, whipped topping and confectionary sugar.
POUR mixture into pie crust.
FOLD strawberries into glaze.
COVER cream cheese mixture with strawberry glaze mixture.