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A SONG OF PRAISE FOR THE STRAWBERRY 'SCHWEIZERHERZ'

 

I know, self-praise stinks. But in this case it smells lovely, and is therefore permissible.

This June, on a Sunday morning (of course!), I was in our strawberry field, and immediately, on the fast-warming morning, I was surrounded by a sweet strawberry fragrance. Admittedly, it was of something too intense and too sweet to be desired. But I do not want to complain: in the end, this fragrance, which was not volatile at all, but very physical and present, was a cloud full of sweet strawberries and it is almost more lasting in my memory than the actual eating experience itself.

But stop, with one exception: SchweizerHerz. I cannot help it, after this Sunday (and after many Sundays in recent years when I have done the harvesting), I simply have to sing a song of praise of our variety SchweizerHerz. A kind of fruity Swiss anthem, if you will. And so that I can keep my enthusiasm in check, I will limit myself here to the six most important points:

• SchweizerHerz has a compact habit: also in the second year, SchweizerHerz is remarkably compact, rarely exceeding 30 cm, which is the size of a head of lettuce.  

 • SchweizerHerz shows its blossoms and fruits! Parfum SchweizerHerz develops the flowers at the height of the leaves and slightly above them. This means that you do not have to tediously look for the fruits and you will not miss the best harvesting time, as is the case with so many varieties. And yes: the sight of the flowering and the fruitful plants is simply beautiful and this makes you want the fruits, long before they are ripe.    

 • SchweizerHerz is healthy: it is one of the most robust varieties in our range. There are no diseases, no leaf spots and no powdery mildew, also in the second year without plant protection. Sometimes a slight approach of a disease can be seen, but it does no harm to the tough, small strawberry plant.

• SchweizerHerz brings in large yields – even in the second year: SchweizerHerz is extremely fruitful, and the increased fertility in the second year is not at the expense of the flavour or fruit size. Like all of our varieties, SchweizerHerz has been specially selected for the fact that, contrary to many plants grown commercially, it also has good yields and healthy fruits in the second and third year.  

 • SchweizerHerz blooms a little later and slightly successive. This year, e.g. it completely escaped the spring frosts in April and, contrary to early flowering varieties, it brings in a full yield. The slightly successive flowering and maturity lead to the fact that the harvest lasts a very long time for a June-bearing variety – which is certainly an advantage for most gardeners and most families.

• SchweizerHerz…what have I forgotten and have not yet mentioned? The form, not always, but often is very beautifully heart-shaped, the glossy surface with the fine golden yellow centre, the inside of the fruit, remains lighter to white throughout the ripeness, the crisp bite, the fruity aroma with a lot of sugar but also enough sourness and then the finish with an intense strawberry fragrance in the nose.

But of course ... there are no advantages without disadvantages; there is always something negative to be found: when the young, developing fruits of SchweizerHerz come at a time when it is extremely hot and there is very intense sun exposure, then it can happen that some of the fruits (especially in those that are most sensitive during the heat wave) that they get sun burnt.

Have I forgotten something? Oh, please order the new strawberries SchweizerHerz for your garden bed immediately because the best time to plant is NOW(!), at the end of July to the beginning of September. The strawberry plants then establish themselves in the warm and fertile garden soil, they develop their crown and in the shorter growing days of summer and autumn they form the fruits and the flowers for next spring.

And then next year, in the harvest season starting at the beginning of June, do as I do: go to the field on a Sunday morning, go into the garden. Place yourself, with or without a camera, next to your strawberry plants on the ground, just you and the fruits and plants and enjoy the peaceful moment of calmness and ripeness.

 

Markus Kobelt

 

 
 
 
 

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