My theory about homegrown organic strawberries is that you can’t have too many. One of the first crops to harvest in early spring, ripe strawberries are harbingers of things to come. But the plant is also an evergreen perennial herb, another cheerful presence in a winter garden.
Strawberries spread around rapidly in the summertime, by putting out runners that root into the ground. But if you want to grow a lot of strawberries you have to eliminate most of the runners when they first appear. In the last few years I have had an area in the west wing garden where I allowed some strawberries to spread around. This past fall I dug some of those up and filled in some empty spots in the strawberry path. It looks a little sparse now, and many of the leaves have turned red. In the spring there will be an explosion of new leaves and white strawberry blossoms.
I love strawberries freshly washed from the garden. I love strawberries for home made jam. I even love strawberries frozen, (to use in pancakes and smoothies and other treats.) But you can also use strawberry leaves for tea. It’s a good general tonic, especially for women, but you do have to be careful to use it correctly. Either use it fresh, or entirely dry, but not in-between. I found some good information on the safe handling and medicinal uses of strawberry leaf here at the website Of The Harvest.