loligo: (anemone)
[personal profile] loligo posting in [community profile] permaculture
I bought one plant from Raintree Nursery five years ago, of the variety 'Profumata di Tortona". For the first two years, it produced tons and tons of runners, but no flowers, so that by the third year I had a decent sized patch of it. The third year, all the plants that were a year or two old bloomed extravagantly, but not a single blossom set fruit!

Then we moved, and I only brought a couple of offsets from it with me. They didn't like being moved, I guess, and produced no flowers the next year. In the meantime, someone on LJ told me that it's not uncommon for individual musk strawberry plants to have nearly all male (or female) flowers, so one plant (or one clone, I should say, since my whole patch was genetically identical) might not be self-fruitful.

I took a chance and bought some more this spring. Success!! All the new ones bloomed, and they set a few fruit! So I have finally tasted this delicacy. I definitely see where the "musk" name comes from -- there's a musky whiff and an almost salty tang when you first bite one, and then it smooths out to a rich, not overly sweet strawberry taste.

They must be highly aromatic to animals, too, because all the remaining fruit has been destroyed by critters (whereas my alpine strawberries on the other side of the yard have been left entirely alone). Next year I'll have to buy some bird netting and set up some hoops over them.

I can definitely see these making an effective ground cover, plus they produce in part shade (once you finally work out their pollination issues). The Strawberry Store has them for much cheaper than Raintree, assuming that you want to buy nine or more of them (I haven't bought anything from them before, but they seem to be completely obsessed with rare strawberry varieties, and obsessed is usually good).
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Permaculture: Food From Sustainable Landscapes

November 2012

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