(Organic) Strawberry Fields Forever

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Strawberries are highly perishable; a heavy rain can damage the crop. The light rain that El Niño has dropped on the fields has led to sweet, succulent strawberries with lower salt levels than in wetter years.

Over 80 percent of our nation’s strawberries are produced in California. Many farms spray synthetic pesticides on their fields. Not Smith Farms. Farmer McKay Smith relies on an arsenal of certified organic methods to keep pesky bugs and nematodes from eating into his yield.

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At The Gadarene Swine in Encino, chef Phillip Frankland Lee serves a dish inspired by the classic pairing of strawberries and champagne. (Photos courtesy of The Gadarene Swine)