Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How To Grow Strawberries From Seed





Save Those Seeds



Step 1: Go to your local farmers market or neighbors garden when they are vacation, and pick out some ripe strawberries.



Step 2: Woof down the perfect, large, and luscious ones. Save the gnome looking strawberries as what you will use for seeds.



Step 3: Using your finger nail or a spoon, gently flick off the seeds from the strawberries outsides. An easy way to remove is to cut the skin with the seeds, and then let everything dry together on a papertowel, and then remove the seeds easily once dried completely.



Planting Your Strawberry Seeds



Step 1: Use fertile soil well manured or composted, or buy specific seed starting soil from your local greenhouse



Step 2: Strawberries like slightly acidic soil. Place your seeds on top of the soil in your containers. Sprinkle with enough soil to lightly cover the seeds.







Step 3: Lightly spray with water so you do not move the seeds to the surface of the soil



Step 4: Place in a warm window with adequate light ( at least 6 hours of full sun a day is recommended), and cover with some plastic seran wrap or a plastic lid (I use egg carton covers from the supermarket and also the egg containers to start seeds in). This will make a mini-greenhouse, trapping in moisture and warmth which your seeds need.



Step 5: Have patience, strawberries grown from seed take a bit of time, up to several weeks or about a month to germinate. So do not huff and puff and throw your dirt in the back yard muttering obscenities. Its a good idea to write on your containers the date you planted your seeds, and then give it about a month- then pitch it out the window.



Step 6: Hopefully by now the first seedling leaves have grown, two identical healthy green leaves. Wait until the 3rd leaf appears before you can safely transplant your strawberries to individual containers.



Step 7: The first fruits that appear on your new plant may be small and minimal the first season. Next year your strawberry should thrive completely.



Strawberry Recipes







Overnight Strawberry Preserves:Wash and hull choice strawberries that are nice and firm to the touch. On your stove top, combine in a small sauce pan 2 c. sugar with 1 c. water. Boil this until the solution can spin a thread when a spoon is dipped in and lifted out. Now add to this about 4 c. of strawberries, 1/4 c. lemon juice, and 2 c. more of sugar. Boil this altogether for 12 minutes with no stirring. If any scum forms on the top of this, skim it off. Pour out the mixture into a shallow non-aluminum pan and let set for 24 hours. Next put into jars cold and seal with paraffin wax. The berries will hold their shape and their color.



Strawberry Punch: Take 1 qt. of cleaned and hulled strawberries and mash. Add to this the juice of 1 lemon, 2 T. orange juice, and 6 c. water. Let stand for a few hours. Strain. Add sugar to taste and serve.



Strawberry Shortcake:



Ingredients



2 (16-oz.) containers fresh strawberries, quartered



3/4 cup sugar, divided



1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)



1 cup whipping cream



2 tablespoons sugar



2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour



4 teaspoons baking powder



3/4 cup cold butter, cut up



2 large eggs, lightly beaten



1 (8-oz.) container sour cream



1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Garnish: fresh mint sprigs



Preparation



1. Combine strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and, if desired, almond extract. Cover berry mixture, and let stand 2 hours.



2. Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Cover and chill up to 2 hours.



3. Combine flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl; cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.



4. Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop dough by lightly greased 1/3 cupfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. (Coat cup with vegetable cooking spray after each drop.)



5. Bake at 450° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.



6. Split shortcakes in half horizontally. Spoon about 1/2 cup berry mixture onto each shortcake bottom; top each with a rounded Tbsp. chilled whipped cream, and cover with tops. Serve with remaining whipped cream. Garnish, if desired.



Strawberry Jam Shortcakes: Prepare recipe as directed. Before topping shortcake bottoms with strawberry mixture, stir together 1/4 cup strawberry jam and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint. Spread cut sides of bottom shortcake halves evenly with jam mixture. Proceed with recipe as directed.



Strawberry Tart:



Ingredients



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour



1/2 teaspoon salt



1/3 cup sugar



1/3 cup cold butter or margarine, cut up



2 tablespoons cold shortening



3 tablespoons cold water



1/2 cup sugar



1/4 cup cornstarch



2 cups half-and-half



5 egg yolks



3 tablespoons butter or margarine



1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced



Garnish: fresh mint sprig



Preparation



Pulse first 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined.



Add 1/3 cup butter and shortening; pulse 5 or 6 times or until crumbly. With blender or processor running, gradually add 3 tablespoons water, and process until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl, adding more water if necessary. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.



Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Line dough with parchment paper; fill with pie weights or dried beans.



Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper, and bake 3 more minutes. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.



Whisk together half-and-half, egg yolks, and, if desired, rose water. Gradually whisk half-and-half mixture into sugar mixture in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove mixture from heat.



Stir in 3 tablespoons butter and vanilla; cover and chill at least 4 hours. Spoon into prepared pastry shell; top with strawberry slices, and serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.




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