During the cold months of bitter chill and cabin fever of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Green Thumbs everywhere begin to wistfully ponder the coming day when breaking ice gives way to breaking soil. When it is too cold outside to do much gardening and the only growing things are the icicles on the neighborhood gutters, many anxious gardeners sit down and plan their gardens. Which fruits and vegetables will be grown? How much space to allot to the staples and how much to unique, new, or exotic varieties? What will the layout be? Should the garden be planted in rows or according to the principles of square foot gardening?
Just thinking about it gets a Green Thumb’s sap flowing!
This year, consider sending out your runners in a new direction. If you have even a square foot or two of extra space in your fertile soil, consider planting a few pineberry plants. Pineberries are hybrid strawberries just like the normal strawberries you buy at the store or grow from ordered plants. The difference can be seen in the photo above. They are white strawberries with bright red seeds! And, they get their name from their unique pineapple/strawberry taste: PINEapple + strawBERRY = PINEBERRY.
If you are interested in learning about or growing this unique strawberry variety in your garden this year, you might want to click the following link now…
Continue reading Introducing the Pineberry
What is a Pineberry?
The word “pineberry” is a fusion of the words “pineapple” and “strawberry” and refers to a relatively new pale pink or pale orange to white strawberry cultivar that is adorned with red achenes (see the Strawberry Seeds page for more information). Like the modern Garden Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa), the pineberry is a hybrid of the wild South American strawberry Fragaria chiloensis, which grows wild in some parts of Chile, and the North American strawberry Fragaria virginiana. The pineberry fruit is the result of cross-breeding, not genetic engineering as has been claimed by some. There are actually multiple different types of white strawberries (and new purple strawberries have been developed as well).
In fact, the specific strawberry variety whose genetics contribute to the striking appearance of the pineberry was “rescued” by a group of Dutch farmers. They discovered the source material in France. They did not find and rescue the pineberry from extinction in the wilds of Chile, as some have claimed. After six years of plant selection and cultivation, the plant vigor and quality of the pineberry plants was improved, and the decision to begin growing them for commercial production was made.
The fruit produced by pineberry plants is very aromatic and has flavor that most say is reminiscent of pineapple while retaining the texture and feel of a strawberry. The pineberry, or pineapple strawberry, is more of a novelty at present. They are produced on a very small scale in Europe and Belize and are not very profitable due to the small size of the pineberries (large pineberries are less than an inch [2.54 cm] big) and the low yield of pineberry plants (see the videos below to better gauge the size of the berries).
Continue reading Pineberry & Pineberries