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National Strawberry Day

By Bonnie Pega
Bonnie's Garden

Did you know that February 27th is National Strawberry Day?  So my favorite fruit has its own day.  To celebrate, I think I’ll have a strawberry milkshake.  For starters….
So here are a few interesting facts about strawberries:

  1.  Strawberries are related to roses.  That means they’re also related to apples, plums, peaches, apricots, raspberries, blackberries, and almonds, among others.
  2. Strawberries are not berries.  They are what is known botanically as an aggregate accessory fruit.
  3. They are the only fruit with seeds on the outside and each strawberry can contain about 200 seeds.
  4. Native Americans ate strawberries centuries ago.  Some California tribes held spring festivals in honor of strawberries.  Iroquois considered them symbols of blessings and thanks while the Cherokee considered them a symbol of love and happiness and the Navaho considered them one of the sacred Life Medicines.
  5. Fresh or frozen, the average American eats about five pounds of strawberries a year.  They didn’t ask me.  I know I eat more than that!
  6. There are varieties of strawberries native to every continent except Africa, Antarctica, and Australia.
  7. No one is certain about how strawberries got the name.  One legend says that children used to thread several berries on a straw and sell them as “berries on a straw.”
  8. Strawberries are good for you.  A whole cup only contains about 50 calories.  They are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, folates and potassium as well as containing smaller amounts of iron, magnesium, vitamins B6, K, and E.  They are a very good source of an important phytonutrient called Anthocyanin.

Strawberry plants will be showing up in the next week or two so in next week’s blog I’ll tell you how to grow your own.

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