How to Grow Certified Organic Strawberries

How to Grow Certified Organic StrawberriesAlthough strawberries have been at the pinnacle of the produce pyramid for decades, their popularity continues to grow.  Unless a strawberry allergy forces a saddened consumer away from these bright red edibles, they are usually the first to vanish from fruit trays across the globe.  Strawberries are delicious, there’s no doubt about that, but they have gotten a bad reputation of late.  Conventional growing methods use fumigants, chemicals, and other methods to maximize production and profits.  But, more and more people are becoming disillusioned and distrustful of conventional methods and are increasingly concerned over potential deleterious consequences of consuming the trace amounts of those chemicals when the fruits are consumed.  This trend toward natural and organic produce has opened a door for new growers to eschew chemical-based practices for potentially safer methods of growing strawberries.  The market for organic strawberries is growing, and the interest in growing them is increasing among potential strawberry farmers as well due to the premium price that organic strawberries bring over their conventionally-grown counterparts.

If you are interested in learning how to grow certified organic strawberries, this guide will help you get started.

This post will focus on the requirements a potential grower must meet in order to legally use such terms as “organic,” “100% organic,” or “made with organic ingredients.”  If you desire to sell your organic produce at a farmer’s market or any other public or private venue, you need to know the requirements so that you don’t run into trouble with the law.

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4 Secrets to Growing Loads of Organic Strawberries

4 secrets to growing loads of organic strawberriesI have been growing and helping others grow organic strawberries for many years.  While the segment of the population that is concerned about how their food is grown is still a minority, more and more people are discovering the benefits of sustainable agriculture.  And, as more and more gardeners test out their green thumbs, gardens all around the world are finding strawberry plants inhabiting space next to herbs and other garden plants.  Going green and growing healthy food go well together; and since virtually everyone loves strawberries, this post will help those who want to eschew the conventional methods (which are somewhat notorious for producing dirty strawberries) for potentially safer ones.  Plus, since no one wants to trade a basket full of bright, plump strawberries for just a hand full, the four secrets I’ll fill you in on momentarily will help you get started on your journey of successfully growing organic strawberries!

First Things First!

Before getting to the secrets, a few preliminaries are in order.  There are some key decisions that have to be made prior to planting strawberry plants.  You need to know which of the main types of strawberries you want to plant…

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Growing Organic Strawberry Plants

growing organic strawberry plants0031 : Strawberry Plants Library

This is an entry in the Strawberry Plants Library here at Strawberry Plants .org. Continue reading for summarized information. The entire resource may be accessed or downloaded by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

Growing Organic Strawberry Plants: Summary

This excellent document was produced by a very skilled and knowledgeable team from Cornell University. The coordinating editors were Juliet Carroll, Marvin Pritts, and Catherine Heindenreich.  Multiple contributors included: Kerik Cox, Greg Loeb, Michael Helms, Andrew Landers, Paul Curtis, Courtney Weber, and Laura McDermott.  The staff writers were Elizabeth Graeper Thomas and Theodora Bucien, while Mary Kirkwyland and Michelle Marks further edited the 2013 version of this guide.  This production was funded in part by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.  For each of the departments and specialties represented by the contributing team, download the resource via the link at the end of this page.

The following is covered in the publication:

Introduction to Growing Organic Strawberries

1.  There are three main obstacles to successfully cultivating strawberries organically.

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Strawberries Are Dirty

strawberries are dirtyStrawberries are big business.  Really big business.  Since everyone loves strawberries, a billion-dollar industry has developed in order to meet the demand of consumers in America and around the world.  California leads the world in strawberry production, but Florida, North Carolina, and other locations produce many tons of harvested berries annually.

But, humans aren’t the only entities that love strawberries.  Bugs, slugs, and fungi love to feast upon the nutrient-rich fruits and plants.  The more fruits are destroyed, the less the hard-working farmers can sell to salivating consumers.  To increase the harvest, therefore, most strawberry producers have developed techniques and practices that allow for maximum yield and minimum loss.  The widespread use of fumigants and pesticides has become mainstream.

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Organic Strawberries Are Better for Bees

Strawberries are a multi-billion dollar crop, and the market for them is global due to their wonderful flavor.  Unless an unfortunate person has a strawberry allergy or other intolerance, the chances are good that strawberries list among that individual’s favorite fruits.  Because of the popularity of the small red berries, technological and chemical advancements […]

Organic Strawberries Not Really Organic

Many people are concerned with the level of pesticides and chemicals used in the production of our food supplies.  Out of this concern, standards have been developed and a culture has arisen around “organic” fruits and vegetables.  Organic produce is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Strawberries are also a multi-billion dollar industry.  Strawberry production poses […]

Organic Strawberry Plants

organic strawberry plantsMany health-conscious consumers are stampeding to the health food stores and the organic sections of grocery stores these days.  There are many valid concerns raised by those who prefer to keep unwanted chemicals out of their bodies.  Many home gardeners share the urge to keep contaminants out of the produce they grow.  This urge is intensified for growers of strawberries.  In fact, there are many good reasons to grow your own strawberries.  But, most nurseries that offer strawberry plants for sale do not help the conscientious gardener by offering organically grown plants.

Fear not, ye strawberry enthusiast!  If you are looking to buy organic strawberry plants, simply look below.  The known suppliers of organic strawberry plants are listed below.

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