Keep an eye out at local farmer’s market for a new strawberry hybrid called ‘Sweet Sunrise’ that was just introduced to the fresh market trade. Topping the charts for taste, these plump, cherry-red fruits ripen early and have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor.
Introduced by some of the West’s leading berry breeders (U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, OR, partnering with the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and Washington State University’s Agricultural Research Center), ‘Sweet Sunrise’ is poised to be a berry as common as long-standing Pacific Northwest favorites such as ‘Totem’ and ‘Tillamook.’
We checked in with one of the lead researchers of the berry trials, Dr. Bernadine Strik of Oregon State University. Dr. Strik confirmed that “‘Sweet Sunrise’ shows great potential for the fresh market trade.” It’s most outstanding characteristics? “It’s early ripening and through-red color.” Which in everyday language means when you bite through the berry it’s bright-red all the way through with little-to-no white parts.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on a handful of ‘Sweet Sunrise’ plants to grow in the Sunset Test Garden. (If you’d like to as well, they’ll be available again starting in January from US Berry Plants.) We have them potted up in a sunny spot in the garden and the berries are just beginning to ripen. Technically, these are June-bearing plants so ours are a little bit late, but we were also a bit late in getting them hunted down and in the ground. We think they’ll be worth the wait!