Strawberry Business Is Booming

strawberry business

strawberry businessThe strawberry business is booming.  Strawberry production in 2017 has already surpassed the year's total for 2016 in the state of California.  And, since California is the largest single producer of the tasty fruits in the entire world, it is likely that worldwide strawberry production is up as well.  As Tim Hearden reported in the Capital Press, the crate production in California is up to 197.3 crates through November, which surpasses the 2017 total by 0.5 million crates.

Strawberry Business Overcomes Weather

What makes the 2017 haul even more remarkable is that unfavorable weather dominated for extended periods this year.

Continue reading Strawberry Business Is Booming

Best Location for Strawberry Plants

best location for strawberry plants

best location for strawberry plantsStrawberry plants can be a little finicky when it comes to their real estate.  It is extremely important for any new strawberry grower to identify the best location for strawberry plants among the potential sites.  If the location is poorly suited for growing strawberries, you won't reap a big harvest of plump, juicy fruit.  But, fear not!  This guide will help you locate and identify the best location for strawberry plants among the sites you are considering.

Best Location for Strawberry Plants: Checklist

Site Topography

Strawberry plants need drainage.  If planted in a naturally-formed bowl or low spot in the ground, both air and water will have difficulty draining away from your strawberry planting.  The absolute best location for strawberry plants will have a slight slope to the land.  The ideal grade for a strawberry planting is 5% to 7%.  However, anything up to 12% is permissible.  Plantings that have a slope less than 5% will result in stagnant air and water.  Such plants will suffer a higher rate of failure due to the pooling of water and stagnant air.  Both encourage the formation of fungal infections that can permanently damage or outright kill your strawberry plants.

Continue reading Best Location for Strawberry Plants

How Old Are My Strawberry Plants?

how old are my strawberry plants

how old are my strawberry plantsQ: How Old Are My Strawberry Plants?

On June 7, 2011, Diane asked:

We have strawberries in raised beds. We are getting smaller and smaller berries every year. I think I need to thin the plants. Is there a way to tell by looking at them which plants are oldest? I need to know how old are my strawberry plants. We also need to fertilize and water them. We were really just letting nature take it’s course. With a fair amount of success until now. The berries are just mostly really small this year. Thanks for this site. It was very helpful. I’m also wondering if when you create new plants from runners are you supposed to pinch off the blossoms on those or just on new bare root plants? If you are supposed to pinch them off the new runner plants, how can you tell which plants are new in the Spring? They all look the same to me in the bed. Thanks.

Answer to: How Old Are My Strawberry Plants?

Continue reading How Old Are My Strawberry Plants?

Strawberry Chocolate Yogurt Masterpiece

strawberry chocolate yogurt masterpiece recipeThere are a bazillion recipes out there that call for using strawberries (in some form or fashion) with chocolate.  And that is just as it should be.  Whether it is chocolate covered strawberries or a two-flavored frozen yogurt cone with chocolate and strawberry sides intertwined all the way up the swirl, these two tastes are meant to go together.  But, there is a difference between throwing any chocolate together with any strawberry and this recipe.

This recipe is a masterpiece.

Oh, sure, I can see the eyes rolling now.  But you don't have to take my word for it.  Make it and see.  The delicate chocolate overtones with the yogurt and sweet strawberries prove it to be wonderful to any tongue that tastes it.  So, get ready to make this masterpiece and become the Picasso of the Kitchen.

Continue reading Strawberry Chocolate Yogurt Masterpiece

Strawberry Lemon Rum Jam

strawberry lemon rum jam recipeEvery now and then people sit down for a bite to eat and are unexpectedly shocked as they bite into a surprisingly delicious culinary delight.  This strawberry lemon rum jam recipe is just such a delight.  Unassuming in appearance, it has the tendency to lull the soon-to-be partaker into a sense of normalcy prior to the first bite.  But, upon sinking their teeth into whatever medium you've chosen to deliver this jam, the discontinuity of what was expected versus what the tingling taste buds are telling the brain is enough to cause the consumer to become taken by the moment: eyes wide and staring at the normal-looking-yet-awesomely-different jam.

So, get your motor running and get busy.  This strawberry lemon rum jam recipe is one for the record books.

Continue reading Strawberry Lemon Rum Jam

Strawberry Water Infusion

strawbery water infusionStrawberries, strawberries, strawberries everywhere!  Everyone gets excited about springtime strawberry recipes, and rightly so.  They are delicious!  If you've perused these recipes long enough, you can probably identify one of the first commonsense steps in virtually everyone of them: wash and hull the strawberries.  Of course you will wash the dirt and debris off of the freshly picked or purchased strawberries.  Then, since few people like to nibble the greenery of the calyx atop the berry, they deftly hull those babies.

So, to what use can you put those excess and normally unused strawberry tops?  Well, you can compost them or feed them to your pet hamster, of course.  But, you can also make a delightful strawberry water infusion.  Adding cucumbers to a cup of cold water is a favorite way to add a bit of freshness to otherwise bland water.  Strawberry hulls can be used for the same purpose!

Continue reading Strawberry Water Infusion

Sweet Strawberry Spinach Salad

sweet strawberry spinach salad recipeSpringtime.  It is the time of year when bluebirds perch atop your shoulders and chirp a sweet melody.  It is the time of year when snows promise to be a thing of the past, and green bursts forth from the dank bleakness of winter brown.  budding flowers on dogwoods and the paler green tips upon conifer branches herald the coming of something grand.

With the coming of increasing temperatures, strawberry plants also are called to renewed vigor as they break dormancy and again send forth their foliage to welcome the strengthening rays of the sun.  But, not only leaves appear!  The perennating buds that were forms with care the previous year also come forth as delicate strawberry flowers.  The buzzing bees find favor therein, and soon the white petals drop and yield a glimpse of red remaining.

Joy comes for many with the first spring harvest of strawberries.  And, what better way to kick off the fun of the coming months than with a great recipe using your freshly-picked strawberries?!  This sweet strawberry spinach salad is just what you need.

Continue reading Sweet Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Sorbet Recipe

strawberry sorbet recipeIf you love to exercise your hospitality genius and have guests over for dinner parties or holiday celebrations or really just about any other reason, you know the value of having a great recipe that brings forth the compliments and praise.  This recipe is one such.  Whether you go with heavy and filling dinner dishes or lighter cuisine, this strawberry sorbet recipe is just the perfect final installment to deliver an exclamation point to the taste buds of your guests that won't be soon forgotten.

The sweet, dissolving aspects of this dessert not only enhance the final memory of delightful tastes, but also goes down smooth.  The rapidity of sweet burst of flavor combined with the feel of frozen sweetness as it melts away is somewhat reminiscent of cotton candy.  The volume is tantalizingly big, but the final result of the spun sugar fibers is a fast-dissolving burst of flavor.  Enjoying this sorbet is similar: no matter how big a bowl you serve, it will be gone before you know it, and even the fullest belly can stand to sample another bite!

Continue reading Strawberry Sorbet Recipe

Strawberry Rice So Nice

strawberry rice so nice recipeSometimes unsuspecting food critics sit down to an unknown dish with skepticism brewing and bubbling like a volcano underneath the calm exterior.  Criticisms are forming before the first nibble is taken.  Well, if you know some such food pedant, abort their food snobbery with this little dandy of a recipe.  One taste will silence the simmering skeptic like Alka-seltzer to a stomach that just finished a bowl of two-day-old chili with extra garlic and hot sauce.  Really, it is that good.

If kids are around, you might want to banish them to the basement while you make it, or it might just get quaffed by the starving hoards before you even put the finishing touches on it.  Rice pudding alone can't hold a candle to this fantastico recipe.  Try it and you'll be a believer thereafter.

Continue reading Strawberry Rice So Nice

Strawberry Fudge Indulgence

strawberry fudge indulgence recipeEveryone knows life is short.  ‘Tis but a vapor or fleeting breath.  Someday, somehow, your body will end up as worm food, just like everyone else.  Everyone will kick the bucket, rest in peace at room temperature, and cash in one's chips for the last time.  So, instead of fighting the Grim Reaper, why not ignore him instead?  Well, ok, as with everything moderation is the key.  But, if you've been a good boy or girl recently, this strawberry fudge indulgence recipe is sure to be a suitable reward!

So, instead of buying the farm, try shopping for the ingredients to make this beauty of a dessert instead?  Whilst you still have breath in your lungs, let the only sticky end you come to be the finishing of this confectionery marvel.  Then, you'll be able to take the largest chunk of fudge and “bite the big one” in that sense…instead of biting the dust!

Continue reading Strawberry Fudge Indulgence