Category Archives: Strawberries (Fragaria)

Cornell Berry Diagnostics

The Cornell Cooperative Extensions Berry Diagnostic Tool is an excellent resource for anyone growing or interested in strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, and gooseberries. This online tool allows anyone to select a berry crop and then from a variety of descriptions of plant growth issues, deformities, discolorations, damage, or other indicator that occurs on the whole plant, flower, fruit, or vegetative to continue to diagnose the issue. Lots of photographs and links to in depth articles are included about many diagnoses to really get to the “root” of the issue. Finally, recommendations for management of the issue can be selected after referring to the images and descriptions
Citation: Cornell Cooperative Extension. 2016. Cornell Fruit Berry Diagnostic Tool. Available online: Diagnosis. Accessed: 12 October 201

Fruit Soups

Fruit Soup Recipe

2 cups dry red wine 1 cup water ; 2/3 cup sugar ; 2 whole star anise ; 2 cinnamon sticks; 1 (12-ounce) basket fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced;  1 (6-ounce) basket fresh raspberries;  1 (4.4-ounce) basket fresh blueberries;  1 pint vanilla bean gelato or ice cream

Directions: Combine the wine, water, sugar, star anise, and cinnamon sticks in a heavy large saucepan. Add all but 1/2 cup of each of the berries. Bring the liquids to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the fruit is very tender, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Discard the star anise and cinnamon sticks. Transfer the berry mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, stirring occasionally, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day ahead. Cut the reserved strawberries into small pieces. Place a small scoop of vanilla bean gelato or ice cream in the center of 8 decorative dessert glasses or soup bowls. Divide the mixed berry soup among the glasses, being careful to pour around the gelato. Sprinkle the reserved berries over the soup and serve immediately. Thank you to Giada De Laurentiis for a delicious mixed berry soup with gelato recipe. Doing research on berry information is when I learned that people really do make soup from berries. You can heat it up and use it as a topping or throw some whipped cream on it for a cold topping. Sounds delicious!   AK Fairbanks

Fun facts about strawberries

Strawberry fun facts. The link above takes you to a fun fact about strawberries site that gives you instructions on how to pick strawberries and just fun facts about berries. One of my favorite facts that I read was, “Processing, such as cooking and freezing berries do not affect the phytochemical properties that they contain! This means that value-added products, such as our nectars, ciders, & jams etc… are still high in the healthy stuff!!!” (Fun Facts About Strawberries, Laura, Southern Grace Farms). Often times you find that a certain way of cooking foods can cause them to loose their nutritional value. For example, with vegtables, I don’t like to steam them because all the nutrients falls into the juice at the bottom of the pot. Another thing I thought was cool about the site was that it included how to say the word “strawberry” in a few different languages.AK Fairbanks

Strawberries on NPR Double Header

Online News Article and Radio/Web Broadcast: The Secret Life of California’s World-Class Strawberries

Charles, Dan. 2012. The Secret Life of California’s World-Class Strawberries. National Public Radio. Available online: Strawberries. Accessed: 7 October, 2016.

Comments: Here’s an article and associated radio/web broadcast about commercial strawberry production in California, from NPR’s “The Salt, what’s on your plate”. The authors briefly discuss a broad range of topics from genetics and cloning to Fusarium wilt to field trials with soilless growing media. Although the article is not overly scientific, it is interesting to get a snapshot of current drivers behind commercial production. High yields and disease resistance remain at the top of the list but market desire for organically produced fruit have forced growers to adapt newer methods.

Online Radio/Web Broadcast and Article: Bigger, Blander, Blegh: Why Are Strawberries Worse?

Block, Melissa. 2012. Bigger, Blander, Blegh: Why Are Strawberries Worse? National Public Radio. Available online: Strawberry flavor. Accessed: 7 October, 2016.

Comments: The broadcast explores the tendency of strawberries today to be big and not so flavorful, the answers aren’t too surprising. Marvin Pitts, of Cornell, also discusses how toselect the best strawberry at the store. CZ Anchorage

Vertical Farming with Strawberries

    This is an interesting article about an innovative, Japanese company, Ichigo, whose vertical strawberry farm, shows technological promise for boutique, urban strawberry production and possible franchise-able business opportunities. While novel, its implications on small-scale, indoor, photosynthetic, food production facilities remain far more interesting than the $5.00 per berry price tag
Koga, Hiroki. 2016. How a Japanese Vertical Farm is Growing Strawberries using LED for the First Time. Available online: StrawberriesAccessed: 29 September 2016

Time Lapse Strawberry Fruit

Video  This link takes you to a time lapse of a strawberry plant growing. It shows a flower growing and maturing and just one strawberry fruit forming. Where the plant was, apparently it did not have enough energy to produce much more than what is in the video, but the strawberry looks delicious! I think this video was made a little late in the process only because we can see old places of fruit that matured earlier. Other than that, pretty cool 1:50 minute video. AK Wasilla

Straw bale gardening and strawberries

Who needs Dirt?
I really want to grow a nice, easy to care for, patch of productive strawberries in my garden. This has been one of my goals ever since I began caring for said garden, but I just never could seem to find the time or come up with a good plan that would be easy to implement and easy to care for. In the past few years I have begun to make connections and friendships with the people at the local co/op in the Delta Jct. area. I have found in them to be a wonderful group of people; who are willing and eager to answer all questions about my garden and have helped me to learn and try new methods for working both in my vegetables and my berry crops. Some of these kind people have even come out to where I live to look at my garden and give me hands on advice about fertilizers, watering methods, soil content, and weed prevention along with a myriad of other hints and tips.
Along with the professionals who work full time, the co/op also recently hired a local lady from Delta who is a long time Alaska gardening and has a great deal of practical knowledge and experience with gardening in Alaska. She and I have become friends and she has come out a few times to visit my garden as well. Just this last July she came out and we began talking about growing this and that. She brought up the topic of Straw Bale Gardening and asked if I had ever heard of it. I had not so she gave me a quick synopsis of how it was done; she then mentioned that strawberries could be grown in this way as well and that really piqued my interest. I have since done some research of my own and am intrigued by the whole idea. The info that I have found says that strawberries are an ideal candidate for growing in straw-bales and hay-bales, at least the annual varieties of berries are. Because of the plants compact size and small root systems many can be planted in one bale and are protected very well from pests and weed infestation. The straw bales are relatively easy to set up, don’t take up much room, and after the year is done the old worn out bales can be composted further and tilled back into the garden or simply used as mulch. Simple and not wasteful; I am eager to try out this method of berry growing next summer to see if it will work for me. I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to the best variety of annual strawberries to grow in Alaska and if they knew of any good suppliers of transplants that I could order from. Here are a few links to sites that have good information both on berry growing in bales and veggie growing in bales. I also found a few good Youtubes that show how to implement the methods, just look up (straw-bale gardening youtubes) and watch some of them.  AB Delta Junction
By Brian Barth. How to grow strawberries in Hay Bales. Available online: 2016
. Accessed Sept. 18,
By Ellen Douglas. How to grow strawberries in Hay Bales. Available online: Accessed Sept. 18, 2016
By No Dig Vegetable Gardening. Straw Bale Gardening. Available online: Accessed Sept. 18, 2016
Straw Bale Gardening. Available Online: Sept. 18, 2016,