Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How Are They Growing Those Big Strawberries ?

My grand parents used to have a strawberry farm near Baraboo, WI. I grew up picking strawberries. I am fascinated by the size and affordable cost of the strawberries in the grocery store. Are they safe? What possible innovations are used to make them so big. Even organic berries are huge. Facts show that California's share of U.S. strawberry production rose from less than 60 percent in the early 1970's to nearly 80 percent in the 1990's, while Florida's share increased from 4 percent to 10 percent. What are they doing different?

 We've long known that the variety of the strawberry makes a difference on the size of fruit is obtained. There is a great chart at:  Strawberry variety will determine the size

This does not explain the reason for the huge size of the Ever Bearing berry you see at the market place. I found there are a whole patch of innovations that have increased berry size and abundance in the market place. There are chemicals that are used called  Methal Bromide that will be banned in California soon, in Mexico not until 2015.Some alternative treatments are getting close to being as effective for either fungus control or weed prevention, but not both simultaneously. Organic gardeners regularly practice strict hygiene practices, and use sulfur, steam injectors and improvised plastic furnaces. In Florida, farmers are tricking the strawberries into bearing fruit in November by putting them in lighted trailers for two months. Strawberries make more profit in November when prices are higher. And of course getting the plant to drink the most water possible without getting  a fungus is the trick.

For more information check out this site:    Strawberry farming secrets

Why bigger berries? The bigger variety berries are chose because it is more profitable for farmers. There are less berries in a quart size container. People love buying the bigger berries.

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