ORIGIN OF STRAWBERRY :
Strawberries have a very ancient origin and are considered to be born in France. The first variety cultivated dates back to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Commonly, the term strawberry means the edible part of the Fragaria vesca plant, but in reality, they are not real fruits, but the enlarged receptacle of an inflorescence. The real fruits are identified in the so-called “achenes’’, or better known as the yellow seeds on the surface of the strawberry. It originates from France basically.
The first variety cultivated dates back to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Its scientific name is Fragaria and derives from the Latin word fragrans (fragrant), just in virtue of the intense aroma released by its fruits, especially those that grow spontaneously in the woods. The strawberry is a member of the Rosaceae family and the most common varieties are hybrid of the wild Virginia strawberry and Chilean variety. The strawberries that we currently grow and eat come from the creation of a hybrid, a random cross between two American octoploid species of Fragaria. Until just over two centuries ago, in fact, the strawberries that were known were wild spontaneous species, wild strawberries that grew in many areas of the world.
HISTORY OF STRAWBERRY :
According to mythology, the strawberry was particularly loved by the Romans especially during the holidays dedicated to Adonis and is governed by the planet Venus. When Adonis was gored by a wild boar, the tears that Venus, the goddess of love had reached the earth, turned into small red heart-shaped fruits. During the Middle Ages, this fruit, in shape and colour, began to be called “heart fruit”, as food capable of appeasing the passions of love. Later, the strawberry became a symbol of fertility due to its many exterior seeds. The fruit looks so alluring in fact, that strawberries were carved into church altars and cathedral pillars in medieval times to represent perfection.
Strawberry represents perfection in the Victorian language of the flower. A double strawberry will bring you, love! Legend has it that by breaking a double strawberry in half and sharing it with another person, you will fall in love with each other. The French considered strawberry to be an aphrodisiac. They served strawberry soup to newly-weds. In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practise the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. It is believed that the elves, who are passionately fond of strawberries, will bless healthy calves and abundance of milk in return.
Until the sixteenth century, strawberries weren’t extremely regarded. Then some individuals began to attribute their therapeutic qualities: in keeping with a German intellectual, Crollius, the fruit may cure the infectious disease as it was absolutely similar in look to the symptom of the disease; for Della orifice (Italian thinker and alchemist) it absolutely was instead a remedy for wounds as a result of it absolutely was red like blood; lady Tallien created a lot of use of it between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, who used 10 kilos at a time to wash and maintain lovely skin. The ancient Romans believed that the berries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, halitosis, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
Strawberry, (genus Fragaria), genus of more than 20 species of flowering plants in the rose family and their edible fruit. Strawberries are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and cultivated varieties are widely grown throughout the world. The fruits are rich in Vitamin C and are commonly eaten fresh as a dessert fruit, are used as a pastry or pie filling, and may be preserved in many ways. Strawberry shortcake—made of fresh strawberries, sponge cake, and whipped cream—is a traditional American dessert.
Strawberries are low-growing herbaceous plants with a fibrous root system and a crown from which arise basal leaves. The leaves are compound, typically with three leaflets, sawtooth-edged, and usually hairy. The flowers, generally white, rarely reddish, are borne in small clusters on slender stalks arising, like the surface-creeping stems, from the axils of the leaves. As a plant ages, the root system becomes woody, and the “mother” crown sends out runners that touch ground and root, thus enlarging the plant vegetatively. Botanically, the strawberry fruit is considered an “accessory fruit” and is not a true berry. The flesh consists of the greatly enlarged flower receptacle and is embedded with the many true fruits, or achenes, which are popularly called seeds.
CULTIVATION AND PLANTING :
The cultivated large-fruited strawberry originated in Europe in the 18th century. Most countries developed their own varieties during the 19th century, and those are often specially suitable for the climate, day length, altitude, or type of production required in a particular region. Strawberries are produced commercially both for immediate Consumption and for processing as frozen, canned, or preserved berries or as juice. Given the perishable nature of the berries and the unlikelihood of mechanical picking, the fruit is generally grown near centres of consumption or processing and where sufficient labour is available. The berries are handpicked directly into small baskets and crated for marketing or put into trays for processing. Early crops can be produced under glass or plastic covering. Strawberries are very perishable and require cool dry storage.
The strawberry succeeds in a surprisingly wide range of soils and situations and, compared with other horticultural crops, has a low fertilizer requirement. It is, however, susceptible to drought and requires moisture-retaining soil or irrigation by furrow or sprinkler. Additionally, the plants are susceptible to nematodes and pathogenic soil fungi, and many growers sterilize the soil with chemicals such as methyl bromide prior to planting. Runner plants are planted in early autumn if a crop is required the next year. If planted in winter or spring, the plants are deblossomed to avoid a weakening crop the first year. Plants are usually retained for one to four years. Runners may be removed from the spaced plants, or a certain number may be allowed to form a matted row alongside the original parent plants. In areas with severe winters, plants are put out in the spring and protected during the following winters by covering the rows with straw or other mulches.
MAJOR SPECIES :
In addition to the dominant commercial variety (Fragaria ×ananassa), the musk, or hautbois, strawberry (F. moschata) is also cultivated in some areas for its unique musky aroma and flavour.
Wild strawberries grow in a variety of habitats, ranging from open woodlands and meadows to sand dunes and beaches. The woodland, or alpine, strawberry can be found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere and bears small intensely flavourful fruits. Common North American species include the virginia wild strawberry and the beach, or coastal strawberry .
EXPORTS AND PROFIT :
With the onset of summer, strawberry plants are fast turning into proverbial money-tree in the UK and other countries, where the prices of the delicate fruit have started soaring, inducing many an Indian firm to grow more for exporting the commodity to these countries.It is learnt that at least three firms had applied for permission to import nearly 1.3 million plants of strawberry from Europe and the US for growing in India.However, the agriculture ministry has allowed only Delhi-based Sheel Biotech to import 600,000 tissue culture plants of strawberry and denied permission to Mizoram’s Zopar Exports and Delhi’s Dev Bhumi Cold Chain for want of dealer licence.The agri-business firms feel that by growing imported plants in Himachal Pradesh and in the North-east, the quality of the fruit can be improved because of climatic conditions.
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