After months of nursing along eight seed-grown alpine strawberry plants, we finally got to taste some of the fruit of our labours.
Alpine Strawberries 'Alexandria'
This picture is of the first berries we harvested, and there were another seven or eight after that. Each berry is about the size of a dime. You would be right to say that the harvest is, so far, unimpressive, but I am hoping that they will make it through the winter and reward us with increasing harvests in subsequent years. I also feel that since I had to plant something where the strawberries are, isn't it better that we're getting a few delicious berries than nothing? But I doubt that I will feel that all the trouble involved was worth it if the plants don't come up on their own next spring.
My real question when growing these was, "Is the flavour really that much better than garden strawberries?" I found the flavour to be very good for the first batch we picked, and the second and third harvests, picked at the end of a hot day, had an even more intense strawberry flavour that I might even venture to call "spectacular". It wouldn't take very many to perfectly complement a bowl of, say, vanilla ice cream. On the other hand, you'll probably never harvest enough for a batch of jam, but for eating out of hand they are delicious, and yes, more delicious than those big strawberries.
If they prove to be both hardy and more productive over the next couple of years, I would say that alpine strawberries are a valuable addition to the garden. Stay tuned next spring to find out if they make it!