Summer Bearing Strawberries, or Something (in Pictures!)
We think the saying is June bearing strawberries but we'll go with summer bearing strawberries for now! Disclaimer: If you haven't gone to a local farm stand for fresh berries (preferably in a wicker quart), stop reading this post and go right now! For those of you who have, continue on! We're especially excited about this blog since we've learned more about this fruit than we could have imagined.
Strawberries are among the first fruits to ripen in the Northeast and in 2010, became the third among fruits for their economic contribution to agriculture in the U.S., right after grapes and oranges (we don't have those flavors, yet!). And we're not surprised either: at Peaceful Fruits, our Strawberry + Acai Drizzle fruit strip is one of our best sellers each month.
But this heart-shaped fruit has a longer and more global history that traces back to ancient times. Researchers have found that ancient peoples ate wild strawberries in small quantities as the fruit was small, tough, and lacked flavor. Roman poets Virgil and Ovid even mention the strawberry in their writings from the first century A.D. - although they mention the fruit as an ornament, not as a food.
This changed by the 1300's when the French began transplanting the wood strawberry from the wilderness to the garden. Eventually, after years of cultivation and breeding across Europe and in Chile, the sweet and juicy strawberry as we know it (the Fragaria ananassa) was born. What's more, Charles Hovey developed the first American variety in Cambridge, MA in 1834. The 'Hovey' strawberry is the ancestor of most modern varieties found in stores and stands today.
In addition to its lengthy resume, the strawberry boasts an impressive health profile: some benefits include antioxidants, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. To honor this fruit and thank you for its contributions, we're sending a "Thank You Berry Much" strawberry card in each of our Strawberry + Acai Drizzle 12-packs, hand-crafted by the team at our fellow Retail Revival participant, Five Blessings!
Source of Strawberry Knowledge: The University of Vermont