We picked the first strawberry this past week. Yes, that’s strawberry, singular. The first year, you’re supposed to pick all the flowers off, so they put energy into developing roots instead of fruit, but I left a flower on most of the plants, because I had to get something (we’ve since picked eight more).

Earlier in the spring, I planted 25 each of:

Sparkle – The best berry for jam and freezing, Sparkle has been known for flavorful, high-quality, attractive fruit for over 60 years. Do not allow the bed to become too thick, and you’ll be rewarded with a nice crop of tasty, medium-sized berries. An extremely vigorous variety, Sparkle is an excellent choice for home gardeners and PYO operations in northern climates.

Earliglow – “Wonderful strawberry flavor” is this variety’s trademark. Earliglow’s fruit has a very firm, glossy skin, firm flesh, and medium size. Its sweet flavor makes the variety excellent for fresh eating and freezing. Fruit size tends to decrease as the season progresses. Earliglow plants are very vigorous and runner well.  Recommended for beginners.

Both were from Nourse Farms, which is where I get a lot of my berries.

Size-wise, they don’t compare to what you get in the store, but the flavor of just-picked, sun-warmed berries is unsurpassed. At some point I’ll likely expand the bed, but for now I’ll have to savor the last couple berries of the spring, and hope that the sacrifice I’m making this year will lead to lots of healthy, productive plants next year!


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