Strawberry

Strawberry

Fragaria

Strawberries are a powerhouse of Vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and folate. Its antioxidant content makes it fruitful for heart health. It helps increase HDL levels (good cholesterol), normalizes blood sugar levels, and controls hypertension. It is a perfect low-calorie food with sodium-free and fat-free perks.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Berries
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About Strawberries

Fragaria is a genus from the Rosaceae family. These stoloniferous perennials form about 20 well-recognized species with numerous cultivars and hybrids, all commonly pronounced as strawberries for their fleshy edible fruits. It is marked by mounds of serrated and pleated green leaves along with round white and sometimes pink flowers that are transformed into fruits.

Strawberry is immensely popular for its signature taste, odor, appearance, and heavy nutritional benefits. Its bright color and sweet juicy taste attract not just children but the older population towards it too. It's a powerhouse of Vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and folate. Its antioxidant content makes it fruitful for heart health. It helps increase HDL levels (good cholesterol), normalizes blood sugar levels, and controls hypertension. It is a perfect low-calorie food with sodium-free and fat-free perks. 

Strawberries have also entered the skincare realm, thrusting many other ingredients far back on the shelf. It acts as a magnificent exfoliator, removing all those unneeded dead skin cells. It is yet another natural source of salicylic acid that eliminates dark spots and hyperpigmentation, all the while tightening the pores and preventing the formation of blemishes. 

 

Growing

It is best to grow strawberries during the spring, preferably several weeks prior to the last frost date. They can be planted indoors too but they require a little extra attention and investment i.e. at least 6 hours of direct sun exposure or 12 hours of LED plant light. It is recommended to choose a spot that receives at least 6 to 10 hours of direct sunlight. Although strawberries can tolerate most types of soils, they prefer to flourish flawlessly in well-drained loamy soil with a pH that ranges somewhere between 5.5 and 7. At the time of plantation, give your plant plenty of water followed by mulching to retain the moisture content of the soil. 

Strawberry also requires a lot of water during its blooming phase so water it adequately, at least one inch per square foot per week. 

Strawberry germination is a bit unpredictable as it can germinate within a week or can take as long as 6 weeks. After a period of cold stratification, strawberry seeds are more likely to germinate quickly while the runner plants require warmer temperatures to establish later in the spring.

By the late summer, both seedlings and runners establish to produce leaflets and flowers. These flowers, after pollination, transform into fleshy edible fruits that are dispersed in the wild by the animals to produce new plants.

 

Harvesting

Strawberry fruits are ready for harvest approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the flowering period when they have completely red. This period usually falls anywhere from late April to late June. 

Strawberry fruits are handpicked, plucking off from the berry with its green top.

Place the unwashed strawberry fruits in a sealable glass container lined with paper towels. Wash the fruits only when you want to eat them or else they will disastrously spoil. 

Strawberry fruits can also be dried by slicing them from the center and arranging them accordingly on dehydrators to make sure proper airflow. 

 

Usage

Strawberries have provided fields of happiness to the masses with their extraordinary medicinal perks. They are being incorporated in many medicinal preparations due to their stellar properties.

  • Tincture - Strawberry puree (crushed with strawberry) is infused with alcohol, preferably vodka, for 10 to 12 days in a cool, dark, and dry place. Strain the liquid time and time again until the cloudiness of the tincture disappears. Save the tincture in a sealable glass bottle.
  • Tea - Fresh strawberries, sugar, and tea bags are soaked in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes to yield a perfect cup of strawberry tea.
  • Decoction - 500g of fresh strawberries are boiled in 0.5 gallons of water for not more than 2 hours, or until the volume reduces to half to produce a concentrated strawberry decoction.
  • Salve - Strawberry seed oil (cold-pressed) is stirred with melted beeswax and congealed to form a strawberry salve.
  • Syrup - Freshly chopped strawberries are simmered in sugar solution for a few minutes, or until the solution thickens to formulate a strawberry syrup.



 

Strawberry Videos

How to preserve strawberries throughout the winter