[NAFEX] Fairfax strawberry

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Wed Nov 28 15:16:42 EST 2007

Strawberries are one fruit that doesn't seem to last long enough to 
become an heirloom.  Of all the interest groups in NAFEX, the 
strawberry group has never taken hold because no one maintains any old 
varieties.  Strawberries take more work to maintain than other fruits.  
Leave an apple tree for 20 years and there's a good chance it will 
still be there.  Leave a strawberry for two years and it will usually 
have been crowded out by weeds or will die from disease.  Even when old 
varieties have been kept going, they are almost always mislabeled.   So 
it's up to places like the NCGR at Corvallis, Oregon  to maintain them. 
  There, the plants are held in pots in a screenhouse.  Flowers and 
immature fruit are kept removed so no accidental seedlings will arise 
in a pot.  And the plants are either available as runners or by tissue 
Still, strawberries CAN last a long time.  Go to South America and you 
can find strawberries in places like Peru that have been maintained for 
many decades, if not centuries by the local people.  The interesting 
thing about this is that those old selections are often full of virus, 
but show no effects.  Over the centuries, types have been selected that 
have amazing tolerance to the diseases, as that was the only way they 
could last.
	Point of all this rambling?  Not much, except to hope that a few 
explorers here might look for old, forgotten varieties and outstanding 
wild plants that could be of use to produce types for N. America that 
have similar ability to last a long time and perhaps to bring in that 
wonderful wild flavor.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
For even more grape lessons, go to  http://www.grapeschool.com
For all other things grape,   http://www.vitisearch.com

On Nov 28, 2007, at 7:56 AM, road's end farm wrote:

On Nov 28, 2007, at 7:17 AM, loneroc wrote:

> Check with the germplasm repository at Cornwallis.  Yesterday I 
> received runners of the 'Fairfax' strawberry that I requested from 
> them via e-mail last spring.  No cost whatsoever and they were 
> Fed-Exed overnight to my door.  Good work USDA!! (I don't have cause 
> to praise them too often.)  I stuck 'em in pots--should be no 
> trouble--roots were already forming.
> Steve Herje
> Lone Rock, WI USDA Zone 3-4
> PS:  Thanks to whoever suggested Fairfax.  It's is one of the parents 
> of Sparkle--my favorite commonly available berry and it's supposed to 
> be even better.  It's supposed to grow well in (part?) shade--which is 
> something I can always use.

Great news!

How many runners did they send you?

Are you considering getting Fairfax back on the market?

Let us know how they do --

Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 
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