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1983: Strawberries are a sweet summer staple in the Circle City

Posted at 5:31 AM, Jun 08, 2023

GREENFIELD — A sure sign of summer in the Circle City is the annual Indy Strawberry Festival on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.

This year’s festival is June 8 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., or until supplies run out. It’s an annual fundraiser run by The Cathedral Women of Christ Church Cathedral. The group says more than 95 percent of the proceeds are given back to not-for-profit causes.

While Indiana may not be known for producing strawberries like Florida and California, the colorful crop is just starting to come into season in the Hoosier State.

Forty years ago this month, consumer reporter Barbara Boyd traveled to Tuttle Orchards in Greenfield with Dr. Dirt, Dick Crum. The pair joined fellow Hoosiers in picking their own strawberries.

Boyd spoke with now-owner Mike Roney about the qualities of a good strawberry.

“A good strawberry is good if it’s large and has a good flavor to it,” Roney said. “There is a real art to picking strawberries. Most people don’t really look down in among the leaves, but if they would, they’d sure find some nice, big, juicy, large strawberries.”

Roney said to make sure the berry is red all over, as those are the best berries for jams and jellies.

Tuttle Orchards began phasing out its U-Pick strawberries in the 1990s due to shifting consumer demands. But Tuttle does provide a list of other locations around the state that offer the ability to pick your own strawberries.