Strawberries

 

On Sunday, I went to the strawberry festival held in the quaint little Maltese village of Mgarr.   I had never been to “Festa frawli” as it is locally known; quite popular on the Maltese calendar of events.

I planned to take some nice photos, but, in the end, only got the one!


Strawberry festival 2016

When I posted this photo on Facebook, a friend of mine commented about the pesticides used in cultivating strawberries.  I never really thought of it!  Another friend, told me he does not buy strawberries for health reasons.  Hmmm …

I decided to have a quick look on the web, to find out how common practice the use of pesticides is, and came across this article.

Should we worry about pesticides in strawberries?

Not sure.  The article seems to confirm what my friend said; it is very difficult to grow strawberries without the use of pesticides.  What a pity!

I remember the typical Maltese strawberry which was very small and sweet.  At the time, pesticides weren’t widely used and fruits were only available in their “right” season.

strawberries on the vineThe little, sweet strawberries gave way to the big strawberries which are now available from December through to June.

Are we forcing nature to produce more? Could this be the reason why pesticides and chemicals are a must, nowadays?

I do not know the answer to these questions.  All I know is that, when I tried buying strawberries at Christmastime, I was very disappointed. The taste of out-of-season strawberries leaves a lot to be desired; they’re at their best in the spring and early summer.

The article I referred to for research purposes talks about strawberry farming and strawberry picking in New Hampshire. I am not aware of places where you can do your own strawberry picking, in Malta and I’m not so sure if you can buy organic local strawberries.

If you know where to buy organic local strawberries from, would you be kind enough to leave a comment to share, please? Thank you …

 

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Colette Cumbo

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5 thoughts on “Strawberries

  1. I grow my own strawberries, with no pesticides. I think I grow approx a small box-full every 10 days. I still get one or two the size of two walnuts, which I find impressive given that I grow them in house pots.
    The secret to them is plenty of sun and water (they are fed thoroughly twice a day and I leave them no standing water) The only enemy is the damaging winds which effectively get the leaves burnt. Less leaves, the more sour the taste. This year I’ve taken all the precautions and it’s going pretty well .. and very tasty too!

    1. Thanks for you comment; you confirm my thoughts. I remember having strawberries in my father’s garden. We used to pick the strawberries and eat them without washing them. We never got sick. I suspect that the rampant use of pesticides is to boost production, even out of season, not because strawberries cannot be grown without the use of pesticides.

  2. I think we have to go backwards to go forwards.The fruit I used to eat from my father-in Law’s field with its blemishes and imperfections is to this day the best fruit I have ever eaten anywhere. It was sweet and delicious. He never used any pesticides of any kind and we used to eat the fruit straight off the tree or out of the ground. I think it’s important to remember that most fruit is seasonal and only by artificial means is it possible to grow fruit that is bigger, more perfectly formed, better??? and longer lasting. If fruit is to be a healthy option then it has to be safe to eat. I would be interested to know if we can buy local organic strawberries as living in an apartment I’m not able to grow my own.

    1. Too right you are Terry! Precisely my point; mass production of fruit and veg comes at a cost to our health and well being. I remember eating strawberries from my parents’garden. Those strawberries were to die for! Today, it’s more about numbers and aesthetics.

      This morning I was told that you can get organic strawberries from TheVegbox (sent you link via FB). They’re in Villa Bologna in Attard.

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