Fresh strawberries are delicious. But have you ever had a really fresh strawberry? Fresh like it was still attached to the ground two minutes before you ate it?

Lots of people have strawberry patches in their gardens. My wife planted one in our garden from the plants that were running wild in our neighbor's garden. This year they, meaning the strawberry plants, decided to expand their footprint in the garden, and my wife really likes the simplicity of just letting it happen, did so, and didn't pull any of the new plants.

Last weekend she came into the house from the garden where she had been picking a few strawberries that were ready to go. She had also been grocery shopping at a store I will leave nameless. She asked me which one I thought was from the garden and which was from the store. I was briefly perplexed.

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The strawberry on the left looked like the photo off a jar of jam. It looked perfect. The one on the right is such a weird overexposed-looking red color it seems almost unnatural. So does that mean it is the one that got all the weird mass production treatments as it was grown? Or is that the one that came from our garden because my wife is a hobbyist and not a total garden nerd expert and there was some deficiency in our soil?

I guessed the one on the left was from our garden. I was right. Then I ate them. The one from our garden, Lefty, was so full of flavor it was almost as tart as rhubarb. The other one was okay, but it mostly was very juicy and lacked taste. Not much flavor. Its siblings in the package were much larger and not nearly as colorful. They were a very dull red or pink with lots of white in them and were at least double the size of these two.

We will still buy strawberries. There's no way we could grow them fast enough to keep up with the demand our kids have for them. But I'm sure going to enjoy the ones in our garden every summer.

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