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Strawberries

California produces 88 per cent of the strawberries Americans eat. Total production has grown from 350,000 tons in 1986 to more than 900,000 today.

Varieties

Like apples, strawberries come in thousands of varieties, although few people can name them. All date back to a chance romance between two wild plants in a Dutch garden around 250 years ago. One was Chilean – secreted back to Europe on a French exploration vessel. The other came from the Virginia woods.

The result was a more vigorous plant bearing larger berries. Strawberry breeding was born.

Many of the popular varieties grown in home and commercial gardens were created in a 100-year-old
strawberry breeding program at the USDA's Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.

These varieties include Earliglow, Tribute, Northeaster,
Blakemore and Steelmaster .

Earliglow, which was released in 1975, set a new flavor standard for strawberries. The berry is perfect for fresh eating, bite-sized and very sweet. High-yielding and
very disease resistant, Earliglow is an excellent choice for beginners and home gardeners.

Tribute, released in 1981, produces fruit multiple times during the growing season. This variety is also easy to grow, yielding large amounts of firm fruit in the spring, summer and fall.

Northeaster, released in 1994, is prized for its high-yielding large, beautiful, aromatic fruit. The berries ripen early and freeze well. Northeaster is an ideal garden variety, growing well in light or heavy soils.

Blakemore, released in 1931, was the first variety firm enough for shipping, making it possible for consumers all over the country to enjoy fresh strawberries.

The release of Steelmaster in 1954 saved the early strawberry industry from the devastating,  root-rot disease called red stele.

Botany

Strawberries are complicated little plants. They produce seeds, but also reproduce vegetatively – stretching out tendrils to create genetically identical "daughters." One plant can create 25 million such clones in four year. And each piece of mature fruit can hold as many as 200 genetically-unique seeds

Humans have two sets of each chromosome. Strawberries have eight.

Carbon Footprints

"Although vilified by locavores, food travelling long distances by truck doesn't necessarily result in more greenhouse gases. On a per-pound basis, an 18-wheeler emits one-fifteenth the carbon dioxide of a delivery van heading to a local farmers' market. The latest studies reveal the distance food travels by truck matters less than how that food was produced. The second biggest energy-hog in the system is the consumer. How many people across North America will drive to grocery stores to buy these strawberries, chuck them in the fridge and a week later throw them out uneaten?"
Toronto Star 

Sources:
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Toronto Star 

Earliglow Strawberry Plants
Earliglow Strawberry Plants


Tribute Everbearing Strawberr
Tribute Everbearing Strawberry

Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter
Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter




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plants, seeds & flowers
Strawberries

direct from the grower
plants, seeds & flowers
Plants & Seeds

direct from the grower



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