I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
May 15, 2016
We have a tradition in my family of picking our own fruit each summer, which typically means setting aside a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and driving anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to a ‘pick your own’ farm somewhere in the middle of Nowhere, Tennessee. Fortunately– at least as far as strawberries are concerned– those days have come to an end.
Green Door Gourmet is located just a couple of miles off Old Hickory Boulevard in Bellevue– Here, you can pick your own organic strawberries every Wednesday through Sunday in May. Equally important? THEY TAKE CREDIT CARDS. And this year, the strawberries are AMAZING, y’all.
The tractor is probably the only downside to the experience— It can’t fit a whole lot of people (despite what this photo would have you believe), so even on a weekday there was a wait to get on board. If you have small children, you’ll need to factor this potential wait into your plans. Fortunately, there’s a shaded playground nearby and your place in line is pre-determined by your ticket number, so you can walk around until the tractor arrives. If you you have slightly older kids or adults only in your party, you may opt to make the easy walk to the field instead of waiting on the tractor—It only takes a few minutes. We rode the tractor to the field, but walked back. Easy peasy.
As for the strawberry fields themselves—I was happy to find that despite the crowds, there were plenty of gorgeous, perfectly ripe, sinfully sweet strawberries to be had. My daughter and I filled our baskets in about 30 minutes and paid just $2 a pound for them. That’s not counting the ones that went into her mouth.
I tried not to feel too guilty about this– I figured that $5 charge at the door was basically a ‘tasting fee’. And she was hardly the only one– Every child I saw who left that field had a telltale red ring around his or her mouth.
More details that might be useful: Since May afternoons can get uncomfortably warm, Green Door Gourmet has wisely set up a large tent beside the fields with picnic tables and waters available for purchase. I know this is fantastic news for those of you with small children who are apt to destroy the entire experience if they get too uncomfortable. Been there, done that.
Once we returned from the fields, my daughter and I were excited to explore Green Door Gourmet’s store. We were thrilled with the large selection of locally-grown and sourced foods.
In fact, I was inspired by the selection to do a ploughman’s dinner Friday night, with local cheese, fresh bread and strawberries from Green Door and from my own refrigerator, Bianco D’Oro salami, homemade chicken salad and bing cherries. I also made creamed kale– which didn’t really belong with the rest of the meal but I couldn’t resist trying my favorite kale recipe with a bunch of kale I picked up at Green Door Gourmet. My entire family was soooo excited. I think we’ll do this all summer long.
Green Door Gourmet also offers a CSA subscription, as well as an option to reserve a CSA box each week after seeing what’s going to be in it—a choice I love and will probably use this summer because it lets me try out the CSA experience without making a months-long commitment.
In addition to daytime strawberry picking hours, Green Door Gourmet has after hours Pickin’ Parties on Wednesday nights in May for adults only—This would make for a great date night. The entrance fee is $5 per person, strawberry picking is from 6-7pm, and from 7-9, there’s local music, local vendors and food available for purchase. You’re encouraged to bring your instrument if you want, to pick along with local artists. Small coolers are allowed.
You’ll have lots of strawberries when you get home. Here are some helpful links on what to do with them.
There are many different opinions on how to clean and store freshly picked strawberries. I personally like to wash mine before I keep them in the refrigerator. Here’s the advice I followed on how to do it.
Many foodie types claim a vinegar rinse destroys mold spores and makes your fresh strawberries last up to two weeks. I used this vinegar rinse recipe on mine — So far, so good!
Now all you need are some strawberry recipes…
My daughter begged me to make strawberry bread, which is great for breakfast and also makes delicious muffins. I like to load my fruit breads with berries, so I probably used closer to four cups of sliced strawberries in the two loaves than two.
Green Door Gourmet has a number of strawberry recipes to choose from on its site.
For a main course, I like making this Strawberry Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette from Southern Living. I often add grilled chicken to the salad to make it a meal.
Got more great strawberry recipes? Please share them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ones!
You’ve still got two more weeks in May to go strawberry picking at Green Door Gourmet — Don’t miss out on the fun!