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Strawberry From Nami. Popular In Italy Strawberry Varieties
Strawberry From Nami. Popular In Italy Strawberry Varieties

Video: Strawberry From Nami. Popular In Italy Strawberry Varieties

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Video: Strawberry Varieties 2023, February
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Strawberries - a berry that has become a legend

Strawberry Harvest from Nami
Strawberry Harvest from Nami

Strawberry Harvest from Nami

The small old town of Nami is located in a green bed of forests, a dense wave surrounding one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, which is sometimes also called the mirror of Diana, who, according to legend, once lived on its shores.

The legend of the strawberry

The narrow streets of the city with small shops, cozy bars and old houses with balconies covered with flowers look like ancient frescoes that have come to life, their beauty seems so unreal. There are many legends about this unique place, one of them is about the "tears of love" of the goddess Venus to Adonis. When he died, the goddess Venus cried a lot, and her tears fell into the sacred forest of Diana. Where they touched the ground, they turned into beautiful red "hearts", so a juicy, beautiful berry - strawberry - appeared.

From that moment on, the forest (in lat. Il nemus) for the ancient Romans became a sacred place, a cathedral without walls, and the strawberries growing in it became a “pearl” for the inhabitants of Nemi, which brought the city world fame.

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On a strawberry bush, you can see both flowers and ripe fruits at the same time
On a strawberry bush, you can see both flowers and ripe fruits at the same time

On a strawberry bush, you can see both flowers and ripe fruits at the same time

Strawberry cultivation on Paula's farm

There is a very picturesque shop on the central street of Nami. A counter with baskets filled with delicious, colorful autumn forest gifts: mushrooms, chestnuts, nuts, and, of course, bright red small, but very fragrant strawberries.

The owner of this shop, Paula Bottakyari, not only sells strawberries, but also owns a farm where she grows these berries, invaluable in taste. She kindly agreed to show how the famous strawberry from Nami is grown in practice.

Both small and large farms are engaged in the cultivation of this berry. Paula's family-owned berry complex is considered to be medium in size. His large strawberry greenhouses are arranged in rows in the valley of Lake Nami.

On the October day of my visit, it was sunny, but rather cool, so the frames of the greenhouses were covered with plastic. Looking inside one of the greenhouses, I saw that there were four ridges about 50-60 cm high. On each of them, strawberry plants were planted in three rows. Caring for them is only manual, since time immemorial women are mainly engaged in it, therefore, in order to somehow facilitate their work, the beds are made so high.

The ground (ridges and passages between them) was covered with a black film that allowed air to pass through, but did not allow weeds to grow. This allows the strawberries to be picked clean. With such a "clean" cultivation, it is not necessary to wash it before use, and once again not to damage the berries, which are very small in size - no more than 1 cm.

Photos of ripe strawberries in a greenhouse do not amaze the imagination, because she, like her progenitor - forest, hides them under the leaves, but if you bend over and look under them, a very beautiful picture opens, because on one plant there are both flowers and still green fruits, and bright ripe berries. And what a scent! Just two or three berries are enough to give any dessert a unique taste and aroma!

Here is the famous strawberry
Here is the famous strawberry

Here is the famous strawberry

Variety Strawberry from Nemi

The Strawberry Shortcake from Nemi is a "four-season" variety: it is cultivated and the berries are harvested all year round, with a relative rest in December and January (at this time very few plants bear fruit). A temperate climate, humid air in summer, a special composition of lands with natural additives of volcanic origin, a high content of phosphorus, iron, calcium, good drainage and high acidity of the soil and give those characteristics and taste to the fruits that make it possible to call it unique and unique in the world.

Frafoline di Nemi is a historic variety that has been traditionally cultivated in Nemi since time immemorial, as evidenced by numerous historical documents. It originates from the European wild strawberry (fragaria vesca var). The first plants for cultivation were taken in the forests, studied, selected over the centuries, the experience was passed on from generation to generation. The taste and quality of the berries, which meet the standard requirements, allowed this variety of folk selection to issue a license - the variety Strawberry from Nemi (Frafoline di Nemi).

Plants of this variety have a lush bush, green leaves with pronounced veins, white flowers have 5 petals. Berries are elongated-conical, bright red with delicate flesh, sour-sweet taste and unique aroma. They are covered with flowers and fruits all year round. These plants practically do not give whiskers, therefore they are propagated by seeds in special nurseries.

Harvest of the famous Strawberry from Nami
Harvest of the famous Strawberry from Nami

Harvest of the famous Strawberry from Nami

In spring, summer and autumn, it is grown in open fields, covering the plants at night in spring and autumn. In winter - in closed greenhouses. Such intensive use of plants forces them to change every three to four years. If earlier young plants were selected in the forests, now the seedlings are obtained in special nurseries, very carefully monitoring the preservation of the original characteristics. Plants that have already taken root and even have begun to bloom and bear fruit are planted in a permanent place, by "transferring" them from the pot to the place. In greenhouses where pots with established seedlings are located, the ground is also covered with a black film.

When planting, as in the old days, only special wooden pizzuto devices are used. Strawberry cultivation is continuous. Several greenhouses are on "rest", some are already ready for planting new plants, and in some there are bushes that have already given all their strength and, unfortunately, they will be removed.

In local households, strawberry cultivation is exactly the same, only instead of several greenhouses there are usually one or two. In the valley of Lake Nami, strawberries are cultivated, along with other crops, by large farms, for example, AssoFruit. The popularity of this berry is growing, and since 1990, the area for this crop has increased from 100 to 600 hectares, and up to 280 tons are harvested per hectare. Strawberries are mainly grown in open fields, with only 10 percent under film. Caring for her, as in small farms, is only manual.

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Popular varieties

Along with the variety Strawberry from Nemi, which is always cultivated in this area, strawberries are also grown here in large sizes. The varieties are selected in such a way as to have berries all year round. The most common and tried varieties grown in Nami are:

Gorella - heart-shaped berries; Pocahontas - spherical fruits;

Belrubi fruits are oblong.

In addition, they grow: La Camarosa - has medium-sized berries of intense red color, cone-shaped;

La Elsanta is an autumn variety with large bright red shiny berries of an elongated-conical shape;

La Parajo is a high-yielding variety with large conical fruits, very juicy and unusually aromatic;

La Chandler is an autumn variety with elongated-conical berries, shiny, bright red in color, the flesh is red and very aromatic;

La Miranda is another fall cultivar with light red flesh and rich, bright berry color;

La Eris - has beautiful red-orange fruits with sugary and very aromatic flesh.

Fertilizers and disease control

When caring for strawberries, only organic fertilizers are used, but to combat diseases and pests, searches are constantly being conducted to improve plant genetics, and diseased or damaged plants are manually removed. Before planting seedlings, the soil is treated with a bromomethyl preparation, phyto solutions are also used.

Strawberry jam
Strawberry jam

Strawberry jam

Strawberry dishes

Perhaps there is no berry more beloved by all than strawberries!

Paula Bottakyari's father, who has been cultivating this berry all his life, is convinced that it is better to eat it in its natural form, this is the only way to feel all the extraordinary taste. It is also not necessary to wash it, since the water washes away the unique strawberry aroma, you can, to clean it, lightly sprinkle it with wine. But a few drops of lemon juice with sugar will only emphasize the "fragrant bouquet" of the berry.

There are many delicious strawberry dishes, but those made from the berries of a special variety of Strawberry from Nemi according to old recipes have a unique taste, it is not for nothing that its fans travel from all over Italy to taste and buy them.

Famous liqueurs from Nami
Famous liqueurs from Nami

Famous liqueurs from Nami

On the central street of the city, with a picturesque panorama of the lake, there is a laboratory shop with the poetic name “Fantasies of the Mediterranean”, which has been preparing sweet dishes from strawberries for several generations. Eyes run up from beautifully designed jars with marmalades, preserves, confitures. If you wish, you can ask to prepare hot marmalade from freshly picked berries for breakfast. At the same time, the recipes do not use sugar at all, only natural honey.

I can say that I have never tasted anything tastier! Here you can buy not only strawberry products, but also from other wild berries or nuts. I can’t forget the assortment of strawberries and kiwi fruits in amber honey. It is not only very tasty, but also very beautiful!

In the neighboring “family” shop you can taste fragrant cakes-baskets that melt in your mouth, filled with strawberry berries in tender ricotta cottage cheese, mouth-watering marshmallow cubes, various caramels, as well as purchase, as a souvenir, various liqueurs prepared according to special old recipes from Nemi's strawberries, known not only in Italy.

Strawberry growing container
Strawberry growing container

Strawberry growing container

Growing Ideas

A container is suitable for growing strawberries on the balcony, since it grows well and bears fruit in an upright position. The container (you can also grow different types of lettuce in it) is divided into cells, each with a drip irrigation tube. From above it is covered with a lid with holes for plants, there is a latch that allows you to open and keep the lid tightly closed. There is a container for water on top, in it there are recesses in which you can put flowers to make the container look more aesthetically pleasing.

When growing strawberries in vases with side holes, you can not only get tasty berries, but also decorate the balcony with them: put a plastic pipe with holes in the center of the vase, fill it with small pebbles so that when watering the water is evenly distributed over the container. The strawberries are planted in the holes. When watering, care must be taken that water does not fall on the strawberry leaves and cause them to rot.

Strawberry baked goods
Strawberry baked goods

Strawberry baked goods

Strawberry festival

Every June in Nami there is a festival of the "queen" of the forest. This holiday began to be celebrated back in the era of the ancient Romans, it was dedicated to Adonis. Over the centuries, the holiday was rededicated to the Catholic holiday in honor of St. Anthony and was held in the Square of Flowers in Rome (Campo de 'Fiori a Roma). During the holiday, the so-called "strawberries" put a huge basket in the center of the square, and a statue of the saint was placed in it. Then, to songs and dances, they filled it with baskets of strawberries.

With the unification of Italy, the holiday moved directly to Nami, where officially since 1922 it has been annually celebrated in observance of all ancient traditions. During it, solemn processions of "strawberries" in national costumes are held, thousands of dishes with strawberries are prepared. Songs and dances are performed in honor of a unique berry - strawberry. In memory of visiting the unusual city of Nami with its main attraction - strawberry - you can buy a copy of it made of gold.

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