Herbs & Plants
Of The Southwest
Yum, yum! We Americans love our strawberries- jam, shortcake, cheesecake, pies, ice cream, even jello, or just eaten straight. Did you know that strawberries are a wild plant native in the Americas? You did? Well, how many of you know that the big fat luscious strawberries that we eat today are the result of a chance mating between the North American variety and the South American variety back in the 1700’s?
Long before the time of Columbus, the Indians of Chile grew a strawberry better than any in Europe, with fruits the size of a walnut. The original North American variety was small but full of intense flavor. When these two varieties were planted in European gardens, chance cross pollination took place, producing the ancestors of our modern varieties. (Proving love will find a way!) Modern breeding and hybridization has done the rest.
Today, the easy-to grow strawberry is found in many home gardens, and it is one of the few crops that can turn a profit for the part time “truck farmer”. The only real problem is keeping the birds away- they like strawberries as much as we do!