Strawberries


Last weekend, Joel and I went to California to celebrate his cousin’s birthday (Happy Birthday Tim!). We had a really good time and ate lots of food at the Brazilian restaurant!

On our way back, we decided to pick up a flat of strawberries from our favorite place… Las Posas Berries. If you ever have a chance to get to Camarillo, CA you must stop by this roadside stand and pick up at least three baskets! They are the best tasting strawberries we’ve ever, they are like candy and have a very strong strawberry flavor to them. Usually they are quite large, but I’m not sure if its the end or beginning of the season and maybe that’s why these were a tad smaller than we remember. (Please excuse the smudge on this batch of pictures, there seems to have been something on my camera lens.)

Don’t those look yummy! I could have eaten the whole flat myself, but I decided to bring out the dehydrator so I could store them for later.

To dehydrate the strawberries I did the following:

  • Washed them.
  • Pulled off the green stems.
  • Cut off the tops.
  • Sliced two small pieces of each side.
  • Sliced the rest of the strawberry into 1/4 slices.
  • Placed the two small pieces into a bag to eat later with yogurt.
  • Placed the tops on the bottom rack of the dehydrator (I’ll tell you more about this later.)
  • Placed the 1/4 inch slices on the rest of the dehydrator racks.

It took two days to get all the strawberries dried. I ended up with almost two quart jars of dehydrated strawberries. I would have had more, but I left a large bowl with our cousins in CA, one basket was for a friend, and we did nibble on them for two days before I was able to get them in the dehydrator. Next time we’ll buy two flats. They aren’t cheap ($25/flat), but they are oh so good, I feel I can splurge once a year for them. And they are just as good dehydrated!!! I’m going to use them in my next batch of Katzcradul Granola.

Okay, so while I was slicing the strawberries, I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if I could harvest the seeds and plant them in my garden?” I did some quick research on the internet on how to harvest the seeds. Basically there are three ways to do it and you can read about them here, and here.

In one of the articles, it states that heirloom strawberries are the only kind you can that will grow plants from seeds I’m not sure if the strawberries I have are from heirloom seeds or not. But I thought I’d give it a try.  So I put a few of the strawberries into a small food processor according to one of the sets of instructions. And then laid them out on paper towels, and waited for them to dry.

About this time, the first batch of strawberries were done and as I was removing them from the trays, I noticed that there were quite a few strawberry seeds in the bottom of the dehydrator I decided to save them. Maybe I could grow strawberries from these. I’m not sure if the heat was too high and maybe killed them. But it’s worth a try. You never know unless you experiment.

Then I came up with an idea! I wonder if I could dry the tops that I’d cut off the strawberries and then rub the seeds off of them and save those for planting?!? So I loaded the bottom rack with the tops. I also put some of the small pieces from the sides on the bottom rack too. But they were so small after dehydrating that they weren’t worth the trouble of trying to harvest the seeds. But the tops where the perfect size and I was able to harvest quite a few. This was the easiest method, so I hope it works!

The scraped-dehydrated seeds are now in a marked bag along with the ones from the bottom of the dehydrator and those that I was able to scrap off the paper towels (what a mess that was, and not very easy either.) I’ve put all three bags into the freezer until June. Then I’ll try to start them in the house under the Ott lite to see if I can get seedlings. (Oh wait, it’s June!!!! Wow, where does the year go! Okay, so I’ll try to start them sometime this month. Which reminds me, I’m also going to have to start the rest of th fall crop seeds very soon!! And I’ve only got two more months until TF-WROL and I have so so much to get done!!!!)

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“”which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”” – Matthew 13:32 NKJV

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