National Strawberry Day? Yes, Please!

Do you find yourself daydreaming about sunshine, summertime, and sweet summer strawberries? Us too! The current weather forecast may not be suitable for growing strawberries but won’t stop us from celebrating one of our favorite summer treats. 

Since 2013, February 27th has been designated National Strawberry Day. No, it’s not the strawberry season – yet – but we can still commemorate this special day by learning some juicy tidbits about our little red friends.

How Strawberries Got Their Name

It’s not exactly clear how strawberries got their name, but there are plenty of theories. Some believe strawberries got their name from being transported to market from the woods and fields on blankets of straw. Scholars theorize that the name originates from the Old English term meaning “strew” because the plant’s branches appear to be strewn across the ground. And there are others who think the name was inspired by the exterior seeds’ resemblance to little pieces of straw. 

Where Strawberries Grow

Strawberries can grow almost anywhere on the planet – weather permitting, of course. Due to their abundant availability, strawberries are considered a common berry across many cultures and lands, garnering universal adoration. 

In addition to being everywhere, nearly every culture has a recipe (or several hundred)  featuring any one of the 600 known varieties of strawberries. From strawberry preserves to strawberry rhubarb pie to toppings on salads, strawberries have a seat at the table for almost any meal. 

Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries 

Strawberries are fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in calories, and packed with Vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium. Studies have also shown that strawberries aid in the fight against heart disease due to their high polyphenol content. Even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy this healthy and delicious snack. 

Fun Facts about Strawberries

The strawberry isn’t your run-of-the-mill berry. Here are a few surprising facts that set strawberries apart from the rest of the berry family. 

  • When it comes to anatomy, the actual fruit is the seed. The fleshy “berry” part is the carrier. 
  • Strawberries are the only fruit to showcase their seeds on the outside.
  • This may blow your mind, but the strawberry is *not* a real berry. A true berry has its seeds on the inside. Botanists classify strawberries as “multiple fruits” because they are embedded with many tiny individual fruits. Crazy, right? 
  • Americans eat approximately three-and-a-half pounds of fresh berries every year. (Or, if you pick strawberries as we do, that’s the daily consumption rate!)
  • Have you ever thought, “Gee, I’d love to visit a strawberry museum?” Well, you’re in luck! Head over to Le Musée de la Fraise! This Belgian museum celebrates all things strawberry. 

How to Celebrate National Strawberry Day

Even though the strawberry-eating season is several months away, National Strawberry Day is our cue to start planning for the strawberry-GROWING season. Here are some ways to celebrate this important day:

  • Take a look at your garden plan and make some space for a few strawberry plants. 
  • Short on garden space? No worries! Strawberry plants can easily grow in containers that sit on the front steps or on the back deck. 
  • Do you know where you can pick strawberries when they’re in season? Start researching local pick-your-own farms – or start searching for secret strawberry spots in the woods. 
  • Add a strawberry-inspired recipe to the menu for the day. Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Strawberry Spinach Salad, or a Strawberry Smoothie anyone?

While we patiently wait for our own crops of strawberries to come in, we’ll meet you at the supermarket to celebrate this momentous day with a delicious dessert!

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