Strawberries




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Strawberries
 


Mau 14, 2010

I found a fantastic site with lots of information on strawberries, one of my very favourite fruits. It has recipes including this wonderful Strawberry and Spinach salad, all kinds of facts, and a whole lot more. If you are into strawberries, then this is a great place to start learning more about them. Also worth noting is that the site is also for our friends who speak Spanish. Enjoy your strawberries knowing a little bit more about them now and even if the site is state specific the information it contains is for everyone who loves and grows this tasty treat.

 

 

 



Facts

  • Over 53 percent of seven to nine year olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.
  • Eight strawberries will provide 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids.
  • Native forms of strawberries adapt to various climates and are indigenous to every major continent except Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The fruit size of the very early strawberries was very small.
  • Seventy per cent of a strawberry's roots are located in the top three inches of soil.
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  • One cup of strawberries is only 55 calories.
  • There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.
  • The flavor of a strawberry is influenced by weather, the variety and stage of ripeness when harvested.
  • On average, there are 200 seeds in a strawberry.
  • The strawberry is the only fruit with the seeds on the outside of the fruit.
  • Ninety-four per cent of United States households consume strawberries.
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the annual per capita consumption of fresh and frozen strawberries is 4.85 pounds.
  • Strawberries are grown in every state in the United States and every province of Canada.
  • California produces 75 percent of the nation's strawberry crops. According to the California Strawberry Advisory Board, California strawberries are available January through November, with peak quality and supply from March to May.
  • If all the strawberries produced in California in one year were laid berry to berry, they would go around the world 15 times.
  • California produces an amazing one billion pounds of strawberries each year.
  • Each acre of land in California in strawberry production produces an average of 21 tons of strawberries annually.
  • 23,000 acres of strawberries are planted in California each year.
  • Lebanon, Oregon's annual strawberry festival is home to the world's largest strawberry shortcake.
  • Americans eat 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries each year plus another 1.8 pounds frozen per capita. Although strawberries are available in many forms—frozen, jam and jelly, and ice cream— nothing compares to the taste of a fresh vine ripened strawberry.
  • Strawberries are delicate, requiring gentle handling to prevent bruising. With today's shipping technology, strawberries are available year round, but at a cost. Commercial growers have produced resilient hybrid berries known for their shipping quality.
  • Florida is second in production. The Florida season runs from December to May and peaks during March and April. To meet the demand, winter strawberries are usually imported between November and May.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad
This spring salad is teaming with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The bright green of the spinach and contrasting red of the strawberries is beautiful and the flavors are excellent together.

1 pint fresh strawberries
2 bunches fresh spinach
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Wash strawberries under cool running water. Remove caps and set aside to drain.
2. Wash spinach and remove large tough stems. Tear large leaves into small pieces. Drain.
3. In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk together.
4. Slice strawberries into halves or quarters and place in a large bowl. Add dry spinach.
5. Pour dressing over all and toss.

Makes 8 servings.

Everything you wanted to know about strawberries, including the location of nearby u-pick farms, is available on a University of Illinois Extension website.

Strawberries and More ( http://urbanext.illinois.edu/strawberries/ ) covers a wide variety of topics related to the tasty treat.

“The web site includes information on how to grow strawberries, common diseases and pests that affect the plants, how to select and care for strawberry plants, nutrition, and recipes,” said Jane Scherer, U of I Extension urban programs specialist and director of Extension’s web sites.

“You can also find u-pick strawberry farms in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin.”

The site was developed by Ron Wolford, U of I Extension horticulture educator, and Drusilla Banks, U of I Extension specialist, food science and nutrition programming.



 




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