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Wild Strawberries

| 6/9/2010 2:18:19 PM

What's better than sweet ruby red strawberries in the summertime? WILD STRAWBERRIES!

Wild strawberry plants grow close to the ground, have smaller leaves and much smaller berries than domesticated species.

Here in the Flint Hills of Kansas, wild strawberries thrive amongst the native grasses. We happen to have some inordinately large patches of these sweet berry producing plants on our property. Wild strawberries are much smaller than the domesticated species we are familiar with today. But, they are 100 percent organic (without trying!), super sweet, and require zero effort to cultivate!

We spent about 20 minutes in one patch and were rewarded with approximately 2 pints of the fragrant berries. Might have been more, but it's hard not to eat as many as you pick!

Kate ate strawberries almost as fast as she could pick them!

Our 2-year-old daughter, Kate, just sat down and picked strawberries as fast as she could eat them ... and only moved once! She was so proud of what she picked in her little pail!

6/13/2010 8:33:50 PM

Thank you for all the comments! I, too, have been surprised at how quickly the patch we were picking from has grown and spread. Luckily, the native grasses that share the wild strawberry's habitat here seem to keep them in check. I also will say this has been an ideal year for them, with our wet spring providing lots of moisture. In addition, this particular patch didn't have as much grazing by goats as in the past, as we have reduced our herd drastically. We are letting the goats and our donkey graze it now, so it will probably slow down again. But thank you for the insight! We will keep an eye on them and make sure they don't go too crazy! Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of the magazine!

6/11/2010 7:01:08 PM

Hi There Jacqueline.. We too have wild strawberries here in Maine, but my goodness, they are no where as large as yours. We have them in the hay fields and they usually mean we need Lime on the ground, at least here in Maine. If they grew as large as yours, I might be inclined to look harder for them! Nice photos as well...take care...Carmen from Homeland Farm

Nebraska Dave
6/9/2010 11:46:18 PM

Jacqueline, Wild Strawberries might be good out in the wild, but on an Urban Ranch they are a disaster. These little plants are the most aggressive ground cover that I have ever in my life encountered. I mistakenly thought that birds had left a deposit of strawberries in their droppings and they had. It just wasn’t the kind I thought. I figured it would be good to have a bed of strawberries and dug up a few and planted them in a freshly prepared bed. In two years they not only crawled out of the bed but decided to take over a fourth of the back yard. I had to take drastic measures to curb the hostile take over from Strawberry of the fourth kind. I am still on constant pursit of ridding my yard of the pesky plants. The other thing with the wild strawberries is that night creatures love the little buggers and since I’m here that well groomed garden over there looks to be right tasty as well. However, I will say in their defense that the berry although small has a much more strawberry taste than the monster plum size store bought strawberries. If it weren’t for the control issue, I’d be growing them. I hope all your foraging produces many delightful tasting things to eat.

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