Skip to content

As Strawberry Season enters its peak, local farms see improvement over last year's crop

Local farms provide organic, fresh strawberries picked daily on-site.

Meños Organic Farm at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Van Buren (Ken Crawford).

Strawberries are a spring staple. In Southern California, we are lucky to grow the best strawberries in the world. Our climate, with cool, moist mornings and dry, warm days, is perfect for growing big, bright, and firm berries. Last year, we got more rain than usual, and the strawberry crop couldn't adjust. Two thousand twenty-three strawberries were small, mushy, and lacked the burst of flavor we are used to. Things are back to normal in 2024; farmers report much better output and quality than last year.

I stopped by Meños Organic Farm and talked with Imelda about their strawberry crop this season. "Last year was tough...This year, we've had a lot of production at this new spot." The Meños family has been farming in the area for over a decade, but their stand on Van Buren and Victoria, their first retail venture, has only been around a few months.

There is something special about buying strawberries less than a hundred feet from where they are grown. The berries in the basket I picked up were bright red, firm, sweet, and juicy. No offense to any "middlemen" out there, either, but buying directly from the producer adds an element of pride in production. The accountability of selling produce at the corner stand while the people working to gather the food can be seen on the other side of the parking lot. It's also cheaper.

I'm glad that strawberries are back to form. Meños Organic Farms is one of many great places to buy fresh strawberries and other produce in the Riverside Greenbelt. I don't take for granted that we have access to fresh fruits and vegetables grown on-site at one of the busiest intersections in the city. Visit a local family-owned farm and pick up a few baskets of incredible strawberries.