When in France last Easter, I bought a few wild strawberry plants (or so I thought) at a market stall and was expecting to see small intense berries growing throughout the summer. In fact, Mara des Bois strawberries are something in between cultivated and wild varieties, theoretically giving you medium-sized fruits from July right through until October. Yes, October! If I’d remembered the name of what I’d bought (I knew it had ‘bois’ in there somewhere), and if I’d done a little research, I wouldn’t be so surprised. But the fact that these berries have just kept on fruiting all through summer until now has astounded me. I’ve enjoyed every bite and have shared these berries with equally delighted neighbours who see what I’ve been up to. Another plus about these berries is that they don’t need full sun either. I just popped them in on the edge of a flower border, under some wild roses. What a find!
Earlier in the year, I realised I had no ordinary wild strawberries, when some of the plants produced real whoppers of berries. But both larger and smaller fruits have had a wonderful taste. Not quite so intense as their wild cousins, but still very sweet, with a slight wild strawberry tang. I’m not sure what took me so long to find out about these late season fruits, but I’ll definitely be growing more next year to elongate my strawberry eating season.
The very friendly people at Pomona Fruits have a special offer on at the moment, so you can order now and plants will be sent out mid March next year. If you have a spare patch of ground (or a window box) and fancy eating strawberries in October, worth ordering now!