Neal Catapano has figured out a way to harvest strawberries about six weeks before the traditional season on the North Fork begins.
He grows strawberries at his farm in Southold in a cold frame under a woven fabric cloth in order to trick the plants into flowering and bearing fruit early.
“We don’t call them greenhouse strawberries because people associate greenhouse grown fruits and vegetables with the terrible greenhouse tomatoes the supermarkets sell all winter,” Catapano said. “These strawberries are grown in the soil, with natural compost fertilizer, covered with a special blanket for the winter and covered again by a cold frame. The extra warmth makes the strawberries think they are in the Carolinas.”
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Photo: Fresh strawberries at Catapano Farms. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)