US: Manitoba man turns sunroom into a strawberry producing paradise

A Manitoba family with a taste for berries has gone to great lengths to make sure their supply of strawberries is at no risk of running out, even in the dead of winter. Hydroponic hobbyist John McFadzean has transformed his sunroom into a strawberry-producing paradise. “I enjoy making plants grow and especially fruit-bearing plants as they taste fantastic,” said McFadzean. “There’s nothing better than a fresh strawberry in December or January.”

About 250 plants have taken up residence in the McFadzean home, producing an estimated 125-250 kilograms of strawberries in the plants’ nine-month growth cycle. This is double the amount he attempted to produce last year. This round of plants was started in early October and will grow until June.

While the harvest may seem daunting for some, the McFadzeans are avid berry eaters. And with four children and two adults chowing down, there are not many left over. “They disappear very quickly,” said McFadzean. With a background in science and history with gardening, McFadzean said he wanted to expand up his hobby.

He took a methodical approach in learning how to set up the hydroponic operation in his home and said his research indicated strawberries are one of the easier plants to work with. “After testing it now, for I guess 15 months, there’s still some things I’m learning and there will be for a very long time but it worked pretty great,” McFadzean said.

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