Maybe you have heard of them… The Dirty Dozen… it’s a list put out by the Environmental Working Group of the most chemically contaminated produce.
The list starts with apples, which I love, and then continues with strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap-peas, potatoes, hot peppers, and ends with kale.
A few years ago, I watched a man spray his strawberry field. He has one of those “pick yourself” places. I watched as he was dressed in what looked like an outfit to probe an alien in, covered completely from head to toe and then proceeded to spray the strawberry fields, where in just a few weeks small children, along with their parents, would pick strawberries, without any protection at all.
The same year I started my own strawberry patch. It consists of two boxes. One that is 6′ by 10′ and a smaller one that sits inside, allowing it to be two levels. Last year I had some strawberries, but this year, the crop is amazing and all without chemicals. I know I have been blessed with few issues. I do have bunnies and birds, but for the most part we have been able to share the strawberries without much issue.
What I did to start? Build large deep boxes so that all the strawberry roots where contained in the organic soil. The first year I planted the strawberries and kept them watered daily, this year I have allowed God to water them when He sees fit with rain. Half of my original strawberries were started from seed and the other half were purchased from a lady that lives about an hour from me. This year I added more plants and varieties through a friend whose daughter is doing a 4-H project. If your children have the option to do 4-H and grow a strawberry patch, the book they use is very informative! Lastly, I have a guard cat. He sits in the strawberry patch and keeps bunnies and birds away. The rest is just God growing His crop.
How do you like your strawberries?