New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Artist helps revive the once nearly extinct Marshall strawberry

Marshall Strawberry No. 5 by Leah Gauthier. Mixed media.

James Beard referred to the Marshall as the “tastiest strawberry in America”.

By Leah Gauthier

“Last fall I finally had sufficient numbers to share, and released an edition of 600 plants. The goal is if lots of people grow Marshall in lots of places, the plant will get stronger adapting to varied climates, and we learn as a community how to heal something that is in distress, and hopefully raise awareness along the way through personal experience about the important role heirloom foods play in a diverse and healthy food supply and champion local eating.”

Excerpt from Leah Gauthier website:

The Marshall strawberry, once deemed by James Beard, the Father of American gastronomy, as the tastiest berry ever, was discovered by Marshall F. Ewell of Marshfield, Massachusetts in 1880, and introduced in 1883. It was then widely grown in Washington, Oregon and California until the 1960s when it was phased out, due to its modest production, delicacy and and therefore incompatibility with modern industrialized agricultural practices. By 2007, the last remaining plants existed as a single clone at the USDA’s Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon.

The Marshall produces juicy delicate berries meant to be enjoyed as soon as they ripen. They don’t travel well, so the only way to enjoy them is locally! With proper care, the Marshall will not only produce fruit, but also throw lots of runners (baby plants) so your collection of plants can grow each and every season.

See more at the Marshall Strawberry website.

See more about Leah here.