Summer’s sultry arrival means two things to me:  Air conditioning and strawberries.  The former a necessity in my life and the latter a privilege of the season.  This year, we’ve decided to grow our own… in pots.  Stackable pots to be exact.  Strawberries, like herbs, don’t need a whole lot of space and are quite happy in pots.  They prefer well-drained soil and full sun.  One of the advantages to using pots is the lack of weeds.  As long as you’re filling the pots with new, sterile soil, you’ll notice a stunning lack of weeds and the strawberry’s roots will have fewer disease issues.  The stackable pots offer easy access to the different layers, so maintenance and watering are a breeze.  We literally just planted them the weekend prior to Memorial Day, just after May 15th, which is considered safe from frost.  Just like my January Paper Whites, I intend to keep you posted on their health and progress.

The history of strawberries is quite fascinating.  The name has a few proposed origins.  Some believe it came from the common practice of mulching berry plants with straw in hopes of protecting them from winter’s chill.  Other’s opine that the name comes from the old Anglo-Saxon name for hay, which is “streaw”, which was harvested the same time as the berries.  The Italians, French and Spanish referred to the berry as “fraise”, which means “fragrant berry”.

The strawberries we have come to know and love today are actually hybrids of two wild varieties – one native to North America and the other native to South America.  The strawberry is actually related to the rose, and is also the only fruit which bears its seeds on the outside.

“We do not rejoice in victories.  We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel”.

– Golda Meir

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney