I don’t know if you saw live or the pictures of the full moon in June, but the full moon that month is always called the strawberry moon. Many people think it’s called the strawberry moon because of the color of it but the name of the moon historically dates back to the Algonquin tribe of Native Americans. The full moon in June was named the strawberry moon because this was the month that strawberries became ripe and ready to pick. The unique thing of the 2016 strawberry moon is that it is the first time since June 1967 that this occurred on the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year. The next time this will occur is in the year 2062. Another place that strawberries are very visible in June is as the delectable treat at Wimbledon, strawberries and cream.
Although strawberries are available year-round the brightest and freshest are North American strawberries, which are harvested in the early summer months. You can get them throughout the rest of the summer though they are never as good of quality as what you’re going to get in June. The great thing if you are a strawberry grower is they are very easy to harvest, process and freeze to last you throughout the rest of the year. If you pick your strawberries and they are underripe, meaning too green, one thing you can do with them is pickle them, and if you pick them overripe another great thing that you can do with them is make a jelly or jam with them.
Strawberries are a member of the Rose family and are the only fruits that produce seeds on the outside. They average about 200 seeds per strawberry. In theory you can plant a new strawberry plant from a strawberry seed on a strawberry, but most of them are planted through runners. Runners are small shoots, branches or twigs that sprout from the root and grow horizontal from a strawberry plant. These are then harvested in June and planted for another strawberry plant to start growing out of. Strawberries also are the first fruits that ripen in the spring. One great thing about planting strawberries is they are perennial plants, which means that from the same plant you planted this year they will reproduce next year, the year after and continually after. A growing common method of raising strawberries in urban environments is the “tabletop method” for strawberries; this is where they hang from the ceiling in containers. One of the places that you see this is on patios in areas where the temperature is ideal for growing strawberries.
Americans eat an average of 3 1/2 pounds of strawberries per year, which is good since it is believed to reduce heart disease and in preventing certain cancers. In the United States, California produces 75% of the strawberry crops. They are also high in vitamin C, B6, K, fiber, potassium, folic acid and amino acids. Strawberries can grow to be as large as an apple. They also have more vitamin C per serving than oranges do.
The three main types of strawberries available in the United States are: day-neutral, which are bred to produce fruit from summer through the fall in mild to hot weather; ever-bearing, best grown in raised beds; and June-bearing, which is the most flavorful and common of the strawberries. The problem with these strawberries is they produce one large crop in June and have a single harvest. The harvest period for these, the most common strawberries, is that it usually only lasts about 10 days.
If you want more information, you can always go to the Strawberry Museum in Belgium, Musée de la Fraise de Wepion, in Namur, Belgium.