In 1990, a French strawberry breeder named Jacques Marionnet set
out to create a strawberry to rival the wildest of the woods.
Four heirloom varieties, Gento, Ostara, Red Gauntlet and Korona were
as parents based, not on their ease of growth or high yield potential,
but rather for their individual strength of character. Each contributes
a layer of flavor or texture to their unique offspring, the Mara
The combination of flavors and textures of this hybrid is not one
that will satisfy every palate. Those accustomed to large berries
with firm, watery flesh or the overwhelming sweetness of strawberry
jam should look elsewhere for their ideal. The Mara des Bois offers
a rare balance of sweetness and acidity, the musk of wild strawberries
and succulent, red-orange flesh that spreads across your palate like
buttery ambrosia. The berries range in size from that of a chick
pea to that of a walnut and each berry, regardless of size, exhibits
this unique aromatic profile.
Wicked Wilds has a unique approach to growing the Mara des Bois.
Rather than utilizing the low risk herbicides, pesticides and fungicides
allowed by current organic standards we chose the no risk approach.
Weeding and pruning are our herbicides and fungicides, physical barriers
our pesticides. We incorporate twenty thousand dollars of organic
compost, fertilizers and amendments into each acre we farm. The nutrient
applications we provide the plants and soil strengthen the cell wall
and the integrity of the plant system, allowing them to resist disease,
naturally. The absence of fungicides allows the natural growth of
beneficial microbial colonies which allow for the breakdown and conversion
of organic materials into available nutrients for the plants.
These optimal photosynthetic conditions contribute to the overall
health of the plants and allow them to produce healthy flowers and
fruit. It is well documented that healthy, well nourished plants
have higher nutritional content.
Our methods are labor intensive and that’s
how we like it. The absence of chemicals and toxins in our fields
is no risk of exposure to our field workers, wildlife or the consumers.
Mara des Bois, grown in this environment, beyond organic, achieves
a level of gustatory greatness that may even surpass the vision
Jacques Marionnet, himself.