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  • Strawberry Shortcake...everyone's favorite dessert

    Our business is a seasonal business. But how can I say "seasonal" when the market is open year around? Well, as the largest strawberry and citrus market in Florida, our market is busiest during strawberry season. In the month of October, the farm gets millions of bare root strawberry plants to be planted in our fields. (Yes, you can purchase bare root strawberry plants in bunches at our market). Then we wait. And the phones will start ringing: "Are you serving Strawberry Shortcake yet?". Sadly, we'll respond not yet. Strawberry Shortcake season has always been January thru mid April, which follows the winter season of Florida strawberries.

    For the past few years, we've been able to start our World Famous Strawberry Shortcakes in December. People from all over the world continue to enjoy our fresh Strawberry Shortcakes in our garden every year.

    Another common question we get, is how many berries do we go through in a day. That's a tough one. Some days we'll go through one pallet filled with full flats, other days we'll go through two pallets. This past season from December 2011 to March 2012, 44 tons of fresh Florida Strawberries were used to make strawberry shortcakes and milkshakes. Forty Four tons! That's two dump trucks filled with fresh Florida Strawberries.

    So, now comes the sad part...April brings warmer temperatures, which means the berries will not be able to withstand the Florida heat. This season's last day of Strawberry Shortcake will be April 22, 2012. And why you ask? The answer is simple, you need fresh Florida strawberries to make the best Strawberry Shortcake in the world. Our beloved Strawberry Shortcake will disappear from our menu for a few months. Although, to some customers it may seem like an eternity. Our Summer menu, will bring back fruit filled milkshakes, our tangerine-vanilla swirl ice cream and the Parkesdale Banana Split. But even as tempting as those may sound, we can't deny we'll be missing our Strawberry Shortcake.

    What's your favorite Parkesdale treat? Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry Milkshake or both?

  • Strawberry Onions are here!

    Plant City Florida is well known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.  What most people don't know is that most local farmers also grow "Strawberry Onions".  You may ask, What is a Strawberry Onion?  Do they taste like strawberries?   A Strawberry Onion is a Savannah Hybrid Sweet Onion which is grown on the perimeter of  the strawberry fields.  Sadly, they do not taste like strawberries, but they are sweet.

     

    Strawberry Onions are available from February to April.  It's funny to hear customers describing our Strawberry Onions to their friends or to other customers.  I've often heard them say "These strawberry onions are as sweet as an apple".  Last year we decided to start shipping our strawberry onions to the Northeast US via UPS.  So far, they've made it all the way to Maine, Ohio and Michigan.  The Strawberry Onions were such a hit last year, that we have already doubled last years shipments.

     

    At the market, we often joke that the Strawberry Onions are planted on the edges to "keep the elephants away".  At home, we use Strawberry Onions almost exclusively when they are in season mostly because they are so sweet, but I prefer them because they won't make me cry!  You can read this earlier post with our favorite way to enjoy them.  Have you ever tried our Strawberry Onions?  How do you enjoy them?

     

  • It's Strawberry Festival Time!

    Did you know the Florida Strawberry Festival dates back to the 1930s?  The Florida Strawberry Festival begins March 1 thru March 11th.  That's 11 days of fair food.  But don't worry, you'll be getting all of your antioxidants with every bite of strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshake, strawberry cookie, or flat of berries you purchase.  Wanna double up on your antioxidants?  Get the chocolate dipped strawberries!

    Parkesdale Farms founder, Roy Parke was an active member in the Florida Strawberry Festival Board of Directors for about 45 years.  The Parkesdale Farms booth offers our strawberry cookies, strawberry bread, strawberry preserves and of course our sweetest strawberries.  The Parkesdale Greenhouses booth is full of beautiful plants all grown here in Plant City Florida.  You can find our booths in the Parke Building.   The Parke Building, named after Roy and Helen, is located between gates 8 and 10.

    The first day of the Strawberry Festival is always exciting.  No matter how many years go by, the Strawberry Festival is always very special to the Parke Family.  This is what we look forward to all year long.  The whole family is involved in the festivities and craziness that comes with the additional thousands of people that will now stop by our market because they saw one of our booths at the Strawberry Festival.  How many of you learned about Parkesdale Farms from your visit to the Florida Strawberry Festival?

     

     

     

     

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