Since most of what we do around here is to prepare us or give us experience in doing necessary tasks for when TSHTF I got to thinking about strawberries. Our patch is 2 feet wide and about 50 feet long. I have everbearing strawberries and Junebearing strawberries. That way we can have some year round but most at one time. The grand kids love to pick strawberries so at this time of year when they complain about being hungry and I send them out to get a piece of fruit they have more choices than just the citrus. In another month we should start getting cherries ripening but for now, citrus and strawberries.
Half of the strawberries were planted last year and half in February of this year. We won't have a great crop for another year. I told the kids that after the plants are done giving us strawberries this year they will send out runners and by this time next year we will have more strawberries than we can shove into our mouths at one time. Oh, I'm so looking forward to that! Now we get about a basket of berries every other day. Not bad but when we want to eat them as they come off the plant there are days when I get none for the kitchen. If I can pick them before the kids (or my mouth) gets to them I store them up and put them into our fruit smoothie. I will also put strawberries into the freezer. Just cut off the cap and put them into a baggie. Last year I ended up with one gallon of strawberries in the freezer.
If you let the plants mat the row (sending out runners and having a solid bed of plants) you can get about a quart of strawberries for each foot of plant with the matted row about 2 feet wide. This means we should get about 50 quarts or 12 gallons of strawberries! Think about all the jam, ice cream, fruit smoothies, and fresh strawberries we will have! Next year will be a banner year.
Last Sunday the grand kids were at their friends house and I noticed a six-pack of strawberries rotting on their counter. I asked about them and they had bought a 12-pack a couple days ago. Strawberries don't last more than a couple of days which was why they rotted. That's almost sacrilegious around here - rotting food! I thought about other ways to store the strawberries. You can dry them. Since they rot so easily you have to be careful if you set them out to dry. You can't let any moisture stay on them or they will rot. If you have a dehydrator, and I do, then an easy way to preserve them is to cut them in half or quarters and dry them. Even if you don't dry them completely in the dehydrator but remove a lot of the moisture that way it would be easy to preserve them. But that still takes effort. Not much but some. I suppose if you wanted to expend no effort at all you could put them into the freezer, cap and all, and when you thaw it at some later date you can cut the cap off then. I string up my peppers and green beans and dry them on the clothesline. I wonder if you could do this with strawberries if it was really hot and windy to quickly suck out the moisture? It will be worth a try.