A few years ago I’d never hard of them. Our neighbor who gardened before me in our shared back yard would (thankfully) weedwack everything outside the flowerbed she built. As I started gardening back there as well, I asked she leave the little strawberries be. I’d noticed most the nasty other weeds didn’t grow through their little patches.
And they’re cute.
The wild strawberries inspired me to buy cultivated strawberries and plant them a few places the wild ones thrived. The cultivated ones made it into their second year this season with great fruit alongside their wild cousins.
The toddler says “They’re strawberries everywhere!” as she goes around picking and eating the little wild ones that all ripened these last few weeks. She loves them. To me they taste like tiny seeds held together with a little juice-less flesh, I’m not that into eating them. She checks on the “real” strawberries and reports to me when the cultivated ones are ready to pick. She has free reign over the wilds.
The wild strawberries keep to the edges (being many in our city yard) and make the most polite garden bed invaders. Their little runners constantly make it across our scavenged brick-and-stone bed border but I divert them back across as I find them. Slowly they mound and fluff up in favored spots.
The Complete Book of Herbs, by Lesley Bremness, confirms Fragaria vesca fruit are edible and suggests eating fresh with cream or using for jam, cakes, pies and syrups or to flavor liqueurs and cordials. It also notes the leaves of woodland strawberries can be infused with other herb teas to add bite and, medicinally, infuse as tea for anemia, nervousness, gastrointestinal and urinary disorders. Reading you can eat the fruits as iron supplements sold me.
Today, as B brought me tiny wild strawberries with garden-dirty fingers and a giggles, I said “Thanks so much!” instead of “Oh, thanks, but that’s for you.”
Iron never tasted so cute.