Five pounds of strawberries might seem like a lot, but that is approximately how much each person eats each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Given that much consumption, it’s good that strawberries are grown in every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada. In 2021, New Hampshire producers grew nearly 720,000 pounds of strawberries, generating more than $2.3 million in farm sales of the crop, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
But...what if New Hampshire’s strawberry growers could grow strawberries all summer long or, better yet, well into the fall? Or floriculture producers and backyard gardeners could add pops of color with ornamental strawberry plants? Or adapt strawberries to local New England conditions by re-domesticating wild varieties using modern scientific techniques?
The New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire is celebrating National Strawberry Month by highlighting several ongoing research projects that dig into how to grow more strawberries and for a longer growing season, how to grow disease-resilient strawberries, even how to grow colorful strawberry flowers for decoration.
Photo: From left, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researchers Becky Sideman, Lise Mahoney and Tom Davis. Photo courtesy of the University of New Hampshire