Robért’s is proud to be one of the exclusive grocers for Springfield, Louisiana’s Landry-Poche Farms. This family has been growing some of the sweetest berries around since 1926.
Landry-Poche starts each year by prepping their sandy soil. They plow, till, fertilize and collect soil samples to ensure a perfect base for the sweetest berries. Next, mulch is laid down to create rows and protect the plants from weather, insects and grass. If the winter cold is particularly harsh, they have to use blankets as a method of frost protection.
The warmer the weather, the faster the berries can ripen. This means smaller – but sweeter – strawberries.
By May the harvest is usually complete. To prepare for the next harvest, a bush hog is used to cut off the tops of all the plants. The mulch and any irrigation piping is pulled back. Tractors then plow the plants back into the soil, which adds nutrients.
A cover crop is then planted – usually field peas or red beans. These are harvested during the summer, creating a healthy and prosperous farm all year round.
NOW ON TO THE LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS…
1. Strawberries are a member of the rose family
The garden strawberry, also known as the cultivated strawberry or commercial strawberry, can be traced back to 18th century Europe. Source
2. On average, there are 200 seeds in a strawberry
The strawberry is not classified as a true berry. True berries have seeds inside. The strawberry has dry, yellow “seeds” on the outside, each of which is actually considered a separate fruit. Source
3. Strawberries should never be washed before freezing!
Strawberries are like sponges and absorb water, which can turn your berries into mush after freezing. Instead, remove the green tops and place them on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, place the berries in a plastic container or bag meant for freezer storage. To use, simply take out your desired amount and rinse. Source
4. Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring
And in Louisiana, spring can sometimes come early after a mild winter. That’s the reason we can begin enjoying the harvest as early as December. Source
5. 53 percent of 7- to 9-year-olds say strawberries are their favorite fruit
Kids love strawberries, and Landry-Poche Farms actually allow families and classes to visit their farm to pick berries and learn about the process of growing them. Source
6. Strawberry juice and honey can reduce pain and inflammation from a sunburn
Strawberries are filled with phenolic compounds, including tannic acid, which is great for easing pains caused by over-exposure to the sun. Source
7. Nutritional experts have named strawberries a superfood; they’re an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber
They’re a naturally sweet way to stay fit and healthy when added to a balanced diet!
8. Strawberries are Louisiana’s state fruit
With so many great options to choose from, that’s a big honor!lagniappe | March 17th, 2019