June 14, 2017
By: Bernadette Antoniou
Did you know that the strawberry is the only fruit to wear its seeds on the outside? And that there are approximately 200 seeds on an average strawberry?
Ever wondered about how strawberries are produced organically? Just how is that accomplished?
Well, strawberries are a tricky crop to manage, and it’s even more complex from an organic approach.
A wet season can be a hard hit for a strawberry grower, as problems caused by moulds and fungi (such as grey mould and powdery mildew) increase dramatically. An organic grower will focus on the system as a whole – ensuring the soil and surrounding ecosystem is in a healthy state. They also focus on the overall health of the plant itself, which will make it more resistant in general – much like a person with a healthy immune system. This approach is very effective at preventing a wide range of problems, and requires year-long effort and much knowledge and foresight.
Insects that love our crops as much as we do are an ever-present challenge, and not just in strawberry production. Strawberry aphids are a particular concern. An organic grower will encourage beneficial insects that prey on them and are not interested in the crops.
Organic production is also more labour intensive, as weeding is done by hand. Using mulch cover is another way to control weeds.
Supporting plant health, working with nature, keeping work on local family farms. When you choose local and organic, these are the practices you are supporting!