The breeding and selection of the ‘Rainier’ strawberry occurred in the 1960s, with commercial introduction in 1972. This cultivar was developed by Dr. Bruce Barritt (now retired) and C.D. Schwartz of Washington State University–hence the name. That it continues to be commercially grown is a testament to the quality of the fruit produced (it is quite tasty, though nothing surpasses wild strawberries) and cultivation demands of the plants. ‘Rainier’ is sufficiently disease-resistant for this particular farmer to use an integrated pest management approach. in IPM, synthetic pesticides are only used when necessary, and not necessarily used at all. Instead, other techniques such as preventative cultural practices (e.g., quick removal of diseased plants) or biological controls are used preferentially. This is a bit of a comfort, as strawberries as a crop are typically subject to pesticides.
Botanically speaking, strawberries aren’t true berries; a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary, like a blueberry. Instead, strawberries are classified as an accessory fruit, where the edible part is not produced by the ovary at all. The fleshy part of the strawberry is actually the swollen receptacle. To make a comparison with raspberries (each an aggregate of drupelets), the receptacle of the raspberry plant is the pulpy, yellowish-white part left behind after the raspberry is picked.