Strawberry Is The Official State Fruit of Louisiana. Louisiana Adopted the strawberry as the official state fruit on May 17, 2001. In 2001 when Governor Mike Foster signed legislation declaring the “Louisiana strawberry” the one and only official Louisiana State Fruit. Ponchatoula is a Small Town of Louisiana Which is located in Tangipahoa Parish, is considered the strawberry capital of Louisiana. The annual festival attracts 300,000 festival goers to the Small Town of 5,000.
State Fruit of Louisiana strawberries traditionally is planted from the beginning of October through mid-November. Production can start as early as late November when plug plants are used and it can continue through the beginning of June. After June, Strawberry plants will discontinue berry production and begin vegetative production. State Fruit Strawberries are produced on 400-500 acres primarily in Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes in the southeastern part of the state. Louisiana State Fruit is consistently in the top 10 strawberry-producing states. In 2003, the value of Louisiana State Fruit strawberries produced in the state approached $8.7 million.
The history of modern State Fruit of Louisiana strawberry breeding dates back to 1714 when Amedee Francois Frezier, a French army officer returned from a foreign mission with plants of the large-fruited F. chiloensis he had seen fruiting in Chile. Later in France, these plants were crossed with F. virginiana, which had been introduced into Europe at an earlier date. Genetic improvement of Strawberries during the next two hundred years was relatively slow and was done primarily by private breeders. Over the next eighty years, strawberry breeders have sought to increase yield and fruit size as well as incorporating resistance to diseases and insect pests.
Nutrition Benefits of Strawberries:
- Maintain your healthy vision
The antioxidant properties in strawberries may also help to prevent cataracts the clouding over of the eye lens, which can lead to blindness in older age.
- Boost Brain Function
Strawberries are rich in iodine, vitamin C, and phytochemicals, which help maintain the proper functioning of the nervous system. Potassium, also in strawberries, has been linked to an improved cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain.
- Give your immunity a boost
State Fruit “Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C,” says Toronto-based registered dietitian Madeleine Edwards. Most mammals except for humans have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally, which is why it’s so important to get your daily requirement.