It’s, quite possibly, my favorite time of year to grow Towers in Florida. It’s not too hot to be outside, it’s not too cold that I have to worry about a frost. Bugs start to diminish, and crops just flourish! One crop in particular loves the cooler nights that we start to see in October. STRAWBERRIES! That means our strawberry seedlings will soon be ready.
We have received our strawberry plants (and lots of them) and we are busy transplanting them into rockwool. In a few weeks they’ll be ready for you to buy and grow at home!
I’ll be setting aside two of my towers at home to grow only strawberries! We cannot get enough around here and Bailey is often found red faced with strawberry juice running down her chin!
Every year the Environmental Working Group publishes their Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, AKA “Dirty Dozen and “Clean Fifteen” lists. The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ is based on laboratory tests done by the USDA Pesticide Testing Program and the Food and Drug Administration. Most data come from USDA tests, which include a large number of food crops and pesticide residues.
They combine six different measures of contamination to come up with a score for each type of produce:
- Percent of samples tested that had detectable pesticides
- Percent of samples that had two or more pesticides
- Average number of pesticides found on a sample
- Average amount (in parts per million) of all pesticides found
- Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample
- Total number of pesticides found on the commodity
Strawberries topped the EWG’s dirty dozen list this year. Americans eat eight pounds of strawberries every year – and with them, dozens of pesticides, including chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage or are banned in Europe.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture tested strawberries in 2009 and 2014 contained an average of 5.75 different pesticides per sample, compared to 1.74 pesticides per sample for all other produce, according to a new EWG analysis. That’s over three times the amount of pesticides and that is just CRAZY!!! If there’s one thing that you commit to buying organic, make it strawberries. Better still, GROW THEM IN A TOWER GARDEN!
Organic strawberries can be expensive!!! So just think about how much money you could save. And better yet, think about how much better they’ll taste and how you and your family will be reducing your pesticide exposure.
Keep you eyes peeled for the dates strawberry seedlings will be available to order online or pickup at the greenhouse.