Harvest of the Month Information:
Strawberries have a history that goes back more than 2,000 years. They are indigenous to both the northern and southern hemispheres. Strawberries grew wild in Italy where the first mention of strawberries occurred in the writings of Cato, a Roman Senator.
Just the Facts
- Strawberries are usually the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
- The seeds of the strawberry are really the fruit while the red fleshy part is the receptacle that holds the parts of the flower together.
- On average, there are 200 tiny seeds on every strawberry. n Strawberries are the most popular berry in the United States.
- Ninety-four percent of American households consume strawberries.
- On average, Americans eat more than three pounds of fresh strawberries each year plus another almost two pounds of frozen strawberries.
Broccoli is a plant of the cabbage family, Brassicaceae, formerly known as Cruciferae. It is related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. In agricultural terms, these vegetables are referred to as cole crops, meaning that they are grown for the heads they produce. There are many varieties of broccoli, but the most common varieties of B. oleracea are Calabrese and purple sprouting broccoli. Worldwide, they are marketed generically as “broccoli.”
Just the Facts
- Broccoli was first grown in the Italian province of Calabria and named "Calabrese." It was then coined brocco, meaning branch or arm. Broccoli is plural and refers to the numerous flower-like shoots that form the head of the plant.
- As of 2008, the average person in the United States ate nearly six pounds of fresh broccoli per year, almost four times more than the yearly amount in 1980.
- A 2005 study* found that broccoli was the sixth most common vegetable consumed statewide by 9- to 11-year-old children.
- Broccoli is one of the most popular garden vegetables to date, mostly because it is very easy to grow. n Rich in minerals and vitamins (like folate), broccoli is also known as the “Crown Jewel of Nutrition.”
- Broccoli is one of only a few vegetables available year-round.