2017 3c Strawberries
Strawberry picking is one of the most anticipated activities of summer. It is a time for families to pack in their car, travel to the local “U-pick” berry farm and fill buckets with delicious, ripe strawberries. But the strawberries of today are very different from those enjoyed hundreds of years ago.
Prior to the 1700s, strawberries were grown from wild plants taken from the forest. King Charles V of France was famous for adding 1,200 strawberry plants to his royal garden. In the 16th century, growing strawberries became quite popular throughout Europe. Even King Henry VIII of England enjoyed them – strawberries and cream dessert was invented in his court.
In the late 1700s, a new variety of strawberry was created. The plants were established by crossbreeding Fragaria virginiana from North America with Fragaria chiloensis from Chile. These new strawberries were larger and sweeter than the wild strawberries Europeans had enjoyed before – paving the way for the strawberries we know today.
Now there are thousands of “U-pick” strawberry farms all over the world. While modern growing techniques allow the berries to be available in stores year-round, nothing compares to locally grown strawberries ripened by the summer sun.
Issued: May 5, 2017
First Day City: Acton, MA
Type of Stamp: 3-cent definitive
Printed by: Ashton Potter Ltd.
Quantity Printed: 200,000,000