[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
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.
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.
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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