Strawberries are in full swing. We have been enjoying strawberries on pancakes in the morning, mixed into green salads, sliced and marinated in balsamic vinegar for spinach salads and in the evening on a scoop of ice cream. Oh, and several times throughout the day, a walk through the garden for a handful to eat as I go. Continue reading
The garden produced many meals of spring greens, radishes and green onions and delicious rhubarb for pies and cakes over the last month. Now it is starting to produce a greater variety with larger quantities.
The chive plant was about to go to seed so I chopped the whole plant off about 2 inches above ground level, removed all the stems that had begun to develop the beginnings of seed heads, and snipped the rest into tiny pieces. Left overnight in the dehydrator at the lowest settling dried them out nicely and I will have enough chives for recipes throughout the winter. Continue reading
Last fall when I wanted to work up the soil around the strawberries I could not get the rototiller running. All winter I fretted over the weeds and buttercups that threaten to strangle the life out of the strawberry plants. Once winter set in there was little I could do with the soil until spring. Continue reading
Between fresh eating and sharing with friends and family I have been starting to freeze small batches of the extras.
I do not like to add sugar to the deliciously sweet berries that I freeze, but there are a few tricks that I use on a regular basis. Continue reading
I always look forward to seeing the bulbs start to send up their foliage. It gives me hope that we will be seeing other signs of spring soon, and it also reminds me that I need to attend to the strawberry plants before they start coming out of hibernation. The berries need a light coating of fertilizer on one of these rainy days so that the nitrogen can soak into the root system before the leaves start growing.
Cleaning up the garden the other day gave me a chance to pick a bucket of strawberries.
No, these aren’t the sweet berries that we enjoyed so much during the beginning of the summer. These are the rock decoys that I had painted and scattered throughout the strawberry patch in hopes that it would frustrate enough birds to ensure a crop of berries for me.
I’m really not sure if the theory that I put into practice works. Birds seem to peck along at the leisure when there is a decoy laying around or not.
I have noticed however, that humans are drawn to the decoys as they step into the patch and I constantly have to answer for my odd display. Seems to me the birdbrains have the upper hand on this game of confusion.
I had been attempting to get the hoe in and around some of the strawberry plants. The buttercups are really a nuisance and the strawberry plants are getting too big to get around them well but I wanted to chop enough of the interloping ground cover so I would still get a good crop of fruit.
And to make matters just a little more difficult, the barn cat Boaz decided that he needed to keep a close eye on me and the long stick I was using around HIS strawberry plants.
Boaz would snuggle in and around the bushes as close as he could. Most of the time he was right where I wanted to hoe. This task was short-lived. It wasn’t long before I set the hoe by the garden bench and spent some quality time snuggling the mangy barn cat.
He acted surprised that I chose him over messing around the berries, the purring proved that he was appreciative.