I used to get paid to taste strawberries — true story. For four years I worked for the Victorian Strawberry Industry and I got to assist with their commercial-variety breeding program by tasting the fruit from the trial plants. Tough gig! Thankfully, I’ve never tired of the taste of a good strawberry and I love growing them in my own garden.
Strawberries are a little powerhouse berry and, despite their sweet taste, they have a low GI, so reach for a handful of strawberries for a sweet treat rather than chocolate. In fact, eating a cup of strawberries gives an adult more than 100 per cent of their recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Every summer I look forward to fresh, sun-ripened strawberries from my own backyard ... if the kids don’t find them first! The varieties available to home gardeners are soft, super-sweet berries that wouldn’t do well in commercial picking and packing — but they are perfect for backyard feasting.
Autumn and winter are ideal for getting strawberry plants in the ground. If you can find dormant bare-root runners for sale, they are much cheaper than established potted plants (especially if you are buying in bulk) and I’ve found they actually transplant a lot better.
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