“Our goal was to develop a sweet and juicy Jersey strawberry with exceptional flavor that would encourage more people to search it out and buy local,’’ Hlubik said. He was part of a team of researchers that included a Rutgers food scientist, plant biologist and agricultural agents who worked together to develop and release the new "Rutgers Scarlet" strawberry.
At the request of the state’s farmers, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) embarked on a nearly 10-year project to develop a strawberry plant that would thrive in New Jersey’s seasonal swings between hot and cold and would also achieve a better balance between sweetness and acidity.
The Rutgers Scarlet strawberry plant recently hit the market for both home gardeners and commercial growers. The new plant is being grown on test plots at more than a dozen farms around the state and will be available for sale again to the public during an August 15 open house at the EARTH Center in South Brunswick, home to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County.
The new strawberry is the latest in a long list of plant varieties including tomatoes, asparagus and squash that the NJAES has developed to draw more customers to local markets and pick-your-own farms. The experiment station works closely with New Jersey farmers to develop plants as part of its mission to share Rutgers’ research with the public.
“You are always looking for something bigger, with more flavor and more eye appeal for the customer,’’ said Bob Von Thun, whose family runs Van Thun Farms in South Brunswick and has been working with the experiment station to test the new strawberry plant.
For the full story: http://news.rutgers.edu/news/better-tasting-strawberry-developed-rutgers-makes-its-debut/20150510#.VVeyOvlVikp