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“It’s Strawberry Time!”
MOUNTAIN GROVE – It’s strawberry time in Missouri. Locally grown strawberries are now available at pick-your-own farms and farmers’ markets.
Delicious strawberries are a healthy treat very high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber. If picking your own fresh strawberries at the farm, select ripe berries colored bright red all the way down to the tip. Choose berries that have a fresh, green cap with no sign of mold. Of course, the sooner you eat them, the fresher they will be. Berries should not be left at room temperature for more than a few hours and will usually last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wash the berries just before you are ready to use them – remove the caps – and then break out the shortcake and whipped cream!
You may even want to grow your own strawberries in your garden or in containers. Spring (June) bearing, everbearing and day neutral are the three types of strawberries grown in Missouri. Spring bearing strawberries produce a crop during a two-to-three week period. Spring bearing varieties suited to Missouri and listed from early to mid-season to late include: Earliglow, DelMarvel, Honeoye, Redchief, Primetime, Allstar and Lateglow. Everbearing strawberries like Ozark Beauty and day neutral strawberries like Tribute and Tristar produce fruit throughout the season. Spring bearing strawberries are best in the garden and the everbearing and day neutral are best for containers.
So whether you grow your own, pick-your-own, or buy your own, be sure to eat some fresh healthful and delicious Missouri strawberries in season! For information on growing strawberries, check out the publication Growing Fruit for Home Use at http://mtngrv.missouristate.edu/Publications/.
Direct comments or questions concerning this column to Marilyn Odneal via email at MarilynOdneal@missouristate.edu; write to Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station, 9740 Red Spring Road, Mountain Grove, Mo. 65711; or call (417) 547-7500. Visit our Web site at http://mtngrv.missouristate.edu.