As National Strawberry Day approaches on Feb. 27, University of Florida scientists have found another variety that can grow in South Florida. It’s largely unknown to American consumers, it’s temptingly tasty and it’s good for local markets, UF researchers say.
Alan Chambers, an assistant professor of horticultural sciences with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, led a team of researchers that tested 16 types of Alpine strawberries in South Florida recently to see how well they would grow.
Alpine strawberries produce gourmet, aromatic fruits, Chambers said.
“I love the taste. The flavor is intense and desirable,” said Chambers, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Extension Center in Homestead, Florida. Alpine strawberries are too soft for long-distance transportation, so farmers would be wise to sell them locally, Chambers said. “I can see growers selling them directly to consumers and food services in Miami, or wherever they’re grown.”
Alpine strawberries grow in the wild throughout the Northern Hemisphere. A few commercial growers in Europe produce the strawberry as well.
Chambers and his team found the Alpine varieties that they tested grew well in the winter in South Florida. After their initial trial in 2018, researchers held a field day and gave seeds to interested growers, Chambers said.
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