Our friend Elley C. asked a crazy question: are there more strawberries or people in the world? Well, every year we grow about 4 1/2 million tons of berries. A ton has 2,000 pounds, so that comes to about 9 billion pounds of strawberries. Whoa! The world has “only” about 7 1/2 billion people, so that’s more than a whole box of berries per person! Looks like the berries win this one.

*Wee ones:* If you eat an apple, an orange, a strawberry, and a peach, how many fruits do you eat?

*Little kids:* If you have a box of 9 strawberries and you eat 1, how many are left for other people to eat? *Bonus:* If 2 friends share that number, how many berries does each friend get?

*Big kids:* If you have 22 strawberries, and need 7 strawberries to make a really good smoothie, how many smoothies can you make? Will you have any berries left? *Bonus:* If you can get more berries in boxes of 10, how many more boxes do you need to make 6 smoothies total?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you have 3 boxes of strawberries, and the 1st and 2nd boxes together have 17 berries, the 2nd and 3rd have 22 berries, and the 1st and 3rd together have 19 berries, how many berries are there in each box?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 fruits.

*Little kids:* 8 berries. *Bonus:* 4 berries per friend.

*Big kids:* 3 smoothies, with 1 berry left over. *Bonus:* You need 42 berries to make 6 smoothies, so you need 2 more boxes of 10.

*The sky’s the limit:* 7, 10, and 12 berries. If the 1st and 3rd have 19 berries, and the 2nd and 3rdhave 22, that means swapping in the 2nd box for the 1st box jumped it by 3 berries. The 2nd box has 3 more berries than the 1st. We know the 1st and 2nd together have 17, which is like having the 1st box, plus another 1st box, plus 3 extra berries. If that adds up to 17, then 2 of that 1st box would give you just 14, and you have 7 per box. That means the 2nd box has 3 more than that, which is 10. And since the 2nd and 3rd add up to 22, the 3rd box must have 12.