The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is happy to announce that local Ontario Strawberries are now available! Strawberries are one of the first fruits of the summer growing season and have long been associated with rebirth and Spring.
To celebrate we’ve rounded up some interesting facts about strawberries, & strawberry farming in Ontario.
Strawberries are one of the earliest farmed foods in North America. In ancient times strawberries were used not only for food but also for medicinal purposes. Tamra Andrews in ‘Nectar and Ambrosia’ tells how ancient hunters in Central Europe would eat strawberries “to sharpen their powers of perception. Others used them to cure nervous disorders, control heart palpitations, and purify the blood.”
Currently, we are no longer using strawberries as a cure for our ailments, nonetheless, they are rich in Vitamin B and C and contain potassium, iron, and fiber.
- Strawberries are the only known fruit to have their seeds on the outside.
- On each strawberry, there is an average of 200 seeds per fruit.
- Under the right conditions, strawberry seeds will germinate and grow; they seem to respond more to light conditions than to moisture and need no dirt cover to grow.
- The strawberry, besides being as red as a rose, is a member of the rose family.
- Size is not the deciding factor to taste but generally, the larger berries are not as flavorful.
Tips for Keeping your Strawberries ripe longer:
Strawberries are a delicate fruit and do not store well. If not using the berries immediately store in a single layer on a paper towel-lined tray in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days. To keep the berries fresher longer, do not wash or remove caps before storing as strawberries absorb moisture.
Quickly wash berries (do not soak) with caps still intact, so the berries will not fill with water which dilutes the flavor of the strawberry. Remove the leaf-like caps with a sharp knife or strawberry huller after you wash.
Visit the Hamilton Farmers’ Market & enjoy supporting your local farmers’ when you purchase Ontario Strawberries. Plan your visit today!