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National Strawberry Day!

Today we celebrate a delicious and versatile red fruit that is loved by everyone, the Strawberries.  This day is observed annually on Feb27th.

The juicy sweet strawberry is one of my favorite among the other berries.  It is delicious on its own but you can easily add them to your favorite salad or smoothie or even make your own homemade ice cream strawberry.

Strawberry is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria, collectively known as the strawberries, which are cultivated worldwide for their fruit.  The most common strawberries grown commercially are cultivars of the garden strawberry, a hybrid Fragaria.  Strawberries are an important fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world.

Strawberries are not true berries.  The fleshy and edible part of the fruit is a receptacle, and the parts that are sometimes mistakenly called “seeds” are Achenes.  It is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is possibly derived from “strewn berry” in reference to the fruit being “strewn” about the based of the plants.

The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as jam, juice, pies, ice cream, milkshakes, and chocolates. Artificial strawberry flavorings and aromas are also widely used in products such as candy, soap, lip gloss, perfume, and many others.

The very first garden strawberry was grown in Brittany, France, during the late 18th century.  By the 16th century, references to cultivation of the strawberry became more common. People began using it for its supposed medicinal properties and botanists began naming the different species. In England, the demand for regular strawberry farming had increased by the mid-16th century.

Strawberries can also be grown indoors in strawberry pots. Although the plant may not naturally grow indoors in the winter, the use of LED lighting in a combination with blue and red light can allow the plant to grow during the winter.  Additionally, in certain areas like the state of Florida, winter is the natural growing season where harvesting starts in mid-November.

So, today, celebrate this day by grabbing some strawberries at your local grocery to make your favorite recipe using a strawberry.  Share on social media using #StrawberryDay.

1860 Mathew Brady photographs presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln

On February 27, 1860, President Abraham Lincoln poses for the first of several portraits by noted Civil War-era photographer Mathew Brady. Days later, the photograph is published on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar with the caption, “Hon. Abram [sic] Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican Candidate for President.”

A relatively new art form, the photograph (or daguerreotype) showed an unusually beardless Lincoln just moments before he delivered an address at Cooper Union that day. The address, in which he articulated his reasons for opposing slavery in the new territories, received wild applause and garnered strong support for his candidacy among New Yorkers.

Lincoln was re-introduced to Brady a year after his election. The president shook Brady’s hand and said Mr. Brady and the Cooper Institute made me president. Brady went on to photograph Lincoln several more times before Lincoln’s death in 1865. Brady also snapped photos of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and two of Lincoln’s sons.

(excerpted from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mathew-brady-photographs-presidential-candidate-abraham-lincoln)