Photographer's Note

"ST PETER'S BROTHERHOOD FOR THE SRAWBERRY" (St Peter is the patron saint of Plougastel.) It was founded in 2000, in order to perpetuate the quality of the fruit and its fame. They encourage its cultivation in the ground, rather than suspended in glass-houses and grown in compost bags. See my photo n°4 .
The difference in taste is definite.
It's a serious association of course, but as the photo shows, they like having a good time, parading good-humoredly.

HISTORY OF THE STRAWBERRY OF PLOUGASTEL: It was introduced into France by one of the King's sailors: Amédée Frezier (1682-1773). (The name is only a coincidence, because the French word "FRAISE" for "strawberry" comes from the Latin word "fragola" .)
Anyway Frezier was responsible for a mission in Chili, where he found a variety of white strawberries, which were a lot bigger than our tiny red strawberries in France.
As he was interested in horticulture, he brought some plants back for the king's garden in 1714.
He was later put in charge of Brittany's fortifications, with Brest as his main post in 1739. So, he brought with him the Chilean strawberry plants to the botanic gardens of this city.
There, they made experiments in mixing the French plants,with the Chilean ones.
In some way or other, their cultivation started in the neighbouring peninsula of Plougastel, and it was discovered that they loved the grounds of the south facing slopes. The soil isn't necessarily very rich, but it's very well-drained, with about 10-15 cm of earth over a base of schist.
Practically every farm started producing the delicate, delicious fruit, and the commune became quite wealthy. From the beginning, ships would leave Plougastel for different parts of France or Europe, especially England.
Amédée Frezier who had been born in Chamberry stayed in Brest until he died at the age of 91. The climate of the region must have been good for him. Of course, he is a regional hero!

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Additional Photos by MarieLouise Davies (maloutim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2266 W: 353 N: 4068] (13617)
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