Nothing heralds the arrival of summer weather like the emergence of juicy red strawberries!
So this post is ALL about strawberries!
I tried to start strawberries from seed this year but it failed horribly. Although now I look online and it seems the seeds need a cold start: either putting them in the freezer for 3 weeks before sowing OR planting the seeds directly outdoors in the winter. Next time right?
Instead I bought a few plants from the garden store and they already have little fruit on them. Ultimately I want to grow enough food to be self sustaining but as my current yard is a ‘tad’ small, I mostly grow them for the learning process. My full blown, year’s supply, of strawberries I still get from a pick your own farm.
So the toddler and I went yesterday to the local farm with our wagon and containers in tow. I was very skeptical that I would be able to get all my picking done with a 1 year old present but she was sooo good. After 2 hours we had all our berry picking done! At home we got them ready for freezer storage (there was more complaining during this time from someone). The deep freezer was fired up to begin storing food!
I figured this was a good time to sit down and figure out exactly how many strawberry plants I would need for my future homestead. Here is my math:
Yesterday I picked 18 lbs of strawberries.
“June bearing” strawberries, planted in a matted row, will produce 0.5 lbs of fruit per 1 row foot.
I will therefore need ~ 36 row feet of strawberries to get a year’s supply.
As each row winds up being about 2ft wide, that is 72 sqft or 0.002 acres.
The number might increase as children grow and consume more…thought she already consumed a few cartons full while I was picking them. The farm plants also got some free watering when she dumped my water bottle out on them.
While looking this info up I realized that in the future there are probably 2 types of strawberries I would love to grow. The larger ‘June-bearing’ strawberries that are ideal for freezing/canning/baking and some hierloom (wild or alpine) varieties. These are apparently very delicious and easy to grow but their small fruits make it very time consuming to grow enough for storage. But they are great for grabbing off the bush and eating while playing outside!
Stay tuned for peas!