Strawberry season in the Czech Republic is short but sweet. This year the harvest has kicked off a bit late due to the autumn-like May weather.
Here in Prague, the village of Kunratice is synonymous with strawberries, thanks to the Jakoubek family.
Jiří Jakoubek, third in a long line of strawberry growers, and owner of Kunratické Jahody told us in 2011: “Our history goes way back. In 1964 my father Václav won a gold medal for his Senga Sengana strawberry, and a silver for his Senga Gigana at the World Gardening Exhibition in Vienna.”
He added, “We started our self-pick business in 1993 after the collapse of the agricultural cooperatives. Today we farm about 26 hectares (64 acres).”
Kunractické Jahody gets thousands of self-pick visitors a year. What makes these strawberries so special? “Our fields are in the rocky soil of the Průhonické Basin which is heated and permeable,” says Jakoubek. This fertile soil cultivates several varieties of strawberries.
The first Prague strawberries went on sale in Kunratice last Thursday, in the parking lot of the Kunratice church. The booth opens bright and early at 8 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and stays open until the stock is sold out.
You can also buy Kunratice strawberries at the farmer’s markets at Kubánské náměstí and Náplavka.
A kilo of strawberries from Kunratice is 98 CZK; 118 CZK in the farmer’s markets. Self-pick from Kunratice fields is due to begin June 14; harvest your own for half the price (54 CZK).
For lovers of summer berries, the trip to Kunratice is worth it: locally grown fruit tends to be softer, sweeter, and juicier than the earlier, out-of-season imports.
Find these, as well as farms outside of Prague, on this handy map of strawberry farms put together by the Ministry of Agriculture.
What to do with all those strawberries? Make one of these No-Bake Summer Cakes, of course!
Strawberry season typically ends in July.