Housman Farms, I was encouraged to do some research on strawberries. Since I'm growing some strawberries and don't know the first thing about them, this little research project was very fruitfull (pun intended!)
A nice pdf drawing found on google docs shows the parts of a strawberry plant. Now, instead of pointing at my plants (when talking to my wife) and saying "this one spread out and started another one!" I can intelligently say "we've got a runner with a daughter plant!"
This same document also recommends pulling off the blossoms during the first year to encourage the plant to redirect all the energy into plant growth instead of fruit production. This must mean that strawberries can stay in the garden for several years? Think I'll experiment and pick blossoms off of half the crowns and see who grows more fruit in the next couple of years.
Looks like Mindy uses straw to cover her strawberries in the winter. My pdf document says to cover them after the first hard frost, up to four inches. Covering them too early can reduce their "winter hardiness."
During the second season, when the berries are ready to pick, just pinch them off at the stem between your thumb and forefinger and give a little twist. Freeze what you don't eat within the first week of picking.
Do YOU like strawberries?