When I was a kid my dad wouldn’t eat bananas. “I ate real bananas during the war in the Phillipines. Those things from the grocery store are not the same,” he would declare with contempt. I feel the same way about strawberries – I eat real strawberries in May and June in the middle of my strawberry patch. Those things in the store are not the same. Let me be unequivocal – I am a strawberry snob. I do not eat California berries because no decent berry can withstand the packaging and shipping. I will eat local berries in august and september that come from “everbearing” varieties but usually just to be polite. The best strawberries come in the spring and are done before summer really gets going. We plant two such varieties of June bearing strawberries: Hoods and Shuksans. These two are top tier for flavor and that is why one eats strawberrries, no? Some other varieties make bigger berries which means less labor to fill a pint and still others bear throughout the spring, summer and into the fall. None of these approach the quality of our favorites.
Lot’s of work happens before the flats show up at the market. We planted a new patch in July 2010 that we will begin to harvest late in the spring of 2011. Below is the story of how we plant them.