How well do you know your strawberries? When you pick up a carton of berries at your local store, do you know their provenance, their names? Like most, I took mine for granted, assuming one berry was more or less like another.
On a recent trip to Central California, I had the opportunity to visit one of the organic farms that supplies überproducer Driscoll's, to learn a little more about what exactly goes into building a better berry.
The coastal community of Watsonville's fertile land and cool, temperate climate make optimal conditions for growing strawberries, and the landscape is carpeted with rows of the plants as far as the eye can see. Here, Phil Stewart's family farm is one of several who provide berries to Driscoll's. For those who think farming is a simple matter, consider this: Stewart actually has a Ph.D. in Horticulture with a specific focus on strawberries. Yes, he is a Doctor of Strawberries. The Strawberry Whisperer, if you will.