Identification: What strawberry varieties are in BC markets (ready to eat)?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by wcutler, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I'm so annoyed, having walked over to Granville Island instead of shopping at my local greengrocer, to get the strawberries that are red all the way through, and I ended up with the ones that are white inside, like the everbearing ones.

    I would like to know what to call the berries that are the ones I want to eat, local berries that don't travel well, red all the way through. Is there one, or are there just a few cultivars like this in the Vancouver markets? And what are the ones that are like the imported ones called, that I think are everbearing? I had the names one year, have no idea where where I put that info. At least I could find it again here.

    And what is with the local berries this year? Last week I did get the red ones, and they were very ripe. Have they not arrived yet, or was their season one week and it's over? Are they all being sent somewhere other than my markets?
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I've not ever seen any varietal name attached to strawberries in the local markets. If they're not indicated as 'local' then I assume they're from California. If you're looking for some cultivar names for your personal interest the following links from Strawberry Plants - #1 Strawberry Resource would at least give you a good start for your investigation.
    I bought some that were sold in a clear plastic (1 lb.) case the other day. They're from California and the flesh is red but the taste, though good, if not nearly as sweet as the local ones but then they're a fraction of the cost. "BERRY BOWL - Watsonville Berry Co-op" was printed on the label. The local ones I've seen so far have been small and not looking particularly appetizing.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks, Junglekeeper. I looked at the first list. I think 'Albion' sounds familiar. They're a "day-neutral" strawberry, so maybe they're the white-centred ones. Your first link says:
    Good strawberry varieties for British Columbia according to the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association:
    June-bearing: Charm, ORUS 2427-4, Puget Crimson, Sweet Bliss, Sweet Sunrise, Valley Red.​
    It has another list recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture, but maybe the ones in the market would be in the above group?

    I've just learned the term "day-neutral". Here's a quote from The Difference Between Everbearing and Day-Neutral Strawberries
    All day-neutral strawberries are everbearing, but not all everbearing strawberries are day-neutral. The distinction between everbearing and day-neutral strawberries is blurred. Day-neutral strawberries are a modern cultivar developed from everbearing plants. The modern day-neutral varieties were developed to produce continuously all summer and into the fall. In contrast, the older original everbearing types produce two to three separate crops each growing season.
    Maybe some of the people at the farmers market tomorrow morning will know what they're selling.
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  5. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    One market vendor today had those; one had June-bearing, did not know the variety, and those were red in the centres; one said theirs were June-bearing, but they looked and tasted like Albion. The one that had the real June-bearing said that next week they'd have Albion, so I guess I missed the June-bearing ones or they never made it from the valley into Vancouver.

    Nothing beats late May strawberries IN California. I have no idea what variety it was that I had, but they were red right through, sweet, juicy, not soft or over-ripe. They were worth the trip.

    Here is a page that links to the two sites in Junglekeeper's first posting, has what seems like a very full list alphabetical by variety name and shows the botanical name and a brief description.
    Strawberry Varieties: The Complete Guide (Updated 2018)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  6. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I grow only day-neutral strawberry varieties because they provide fruit from June through October. Hecker and Tristar are 2 excellent tasting varieties with medium size fruit, but they are more susceptible to disease problems than Albion and Seascape. The latter two are California varieties with large, firm fruit but significantly less flavour than the first two; however; they are more disease-resistant, at least in my garden. All of these varieties are usually available for a reasonable price as bare root packs of 10 plants. None of them has a white centre unless they are picked under-ripe.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks for replying, @vitog - it gave me a chance to see that I had neglected to paste in the link I said I was adding in my posting before yours, so I've fixed that.
    I guess I'll have to wait until next year and remember to start asking at the markets. I do have one plant from many years ago, which with no improvements to soil produces a few very small very tasty fruits every year. I have removed a Rumex from the pot now and put in some new soil, so maybe I will get a new fruit every day! I have no idea what it is, got it at the local garden centre. I always thought it was ever-bearing, but it must be day-neutral, as it never really stops producing one or two fruits per week until October.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  8. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Someone I have met lately used to grow strawberries for local consumption in the South Nanaimo area of Vancouver Island.
    Her preferred variety by far was one called 'Sumas'.

    This comment is from garden authority, Brian Minter:
    Sumas: This very heavy yielding variety has lighter red berries and very good flavour.

    In my garden, the only ones to attest to the flavour are rabbits.

    I do not know how well they transport to larger markets.
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Interesting that 'Sumas' is not on the list. I wonder if she planted them a long time ago.
     
  10. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Here is what my friend has to say about growing the 'Sumas' variety of strawberries. She and her husband have been retired now for several years but it wasn't that long ago that she was still growing them.

    "I have been growing Sumas strawberries for 38 years and still happy with them.

    We had a u-pick berry operation and started with Totem, the most popular berry grown at that time. We tried Sumas because they could give us another small crop late October. (Keeping in mind that we had 8 acres of them).

    The only little drawback was the white tips but doesn’t seem to affect the taste.

    I have been growing these in my cold frame as we get to eat them one month ahead. We swear that these are sweeter.

    They only keep in fridge for a couple days unwashed.
    "

    Perhaps that last comment explains the reason Sumas berries are not found at markets.
     
  11. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    @Margot, thanks for getting the comments from your friend.

    This article by Brian Minter on the Gardening BC page does list Sumas as one of the great June-bearing berries, and lists some others whose names I've heard. It has descriptions of the ones it mentions.
    Gardening BC - Strawberries
    The copyright date is given as 2006, so maybe some of the others on that Complete Guide (2018) page I referenced above have taken the place of Sumas by now.

    I think that it's usual for all the June-bearing berries to only be at their best for a very few days. The BC Strawberries page is certainly promoting the everbearing berries. I wonder if there are just very few growers still doing June-bearing (for the markets).

    At the local farmers market, the vendors who had June-bearing fruits called them that, did not know the variety names.
     
  12. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Wendy, thanks for the list of strawberry varieties. It certainly contains many entries but doesn't say anything about their taste (not surprising, due to the personal nature of taste). I noticed that it describes Hecker as an early June-bearer, but that variety is definitely day-neutral.
     
  13. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    The strawberry booth at 2nd Beach tonight was selling Clancy, grown in Delta. The Complete Guide in posting #5 shows them as late midseason, so that answers part of my question - I've missed two-thirds of the June-bearing season, but there could still be some to come.
     
  14. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I was reviewing this thread, have noticed that the complete guide page linked to in posting #5 has pages by state and province. For British Columbia, at Recommended Strawberry Varieties for Canada – Strawberry Plants . org, it lists:

    Appropriate British Columbia strawberry varieties as recommended by the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture; Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:
    June-bearing: Clancy, Hood, Honeoye, Nisgaa (BC 92-20-85), Puget Crimson (WSU 2833), Puget Reliance, Rainier, Shuksan, Stolo (BC 96-33-4), Sweet Bliss (Orus 2180-1), Totem, Valley Red (ORUS 1790-1);
    Day-neutral: Albion, Diamante, Monterey, San Andreas, Seascape, Selva.

    Good strawberry varieties for British Columbia according to the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association:
    June-bearing: Charm, ORUS 2427-4, Puget Crimson, Sweet Bliss, Sweet Sunrise, Valley Red.
    The farmer's market person I asked on Saturday said hers were ever-bearing (in reply to my query about the cultivar or variety name).

    Now to see if I can buy some that I like and learn the name.
     
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It's too early of course for local outdoor grown strawberries.
     
  17. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    We are SO ready for spring!
     

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