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Out With The Old

July 11th, 2018

The strawberry patch was in need of removal last year, which didn’t happen because I spent too much time traveling in the spring/early summer. I started pulling the plants last fall, but didn’t get that far. Now that strawberry season it over, all the crowns are being removed to make way for other produce.



We will still have strawberries, they will just be in raised beds in the new soft fruit section of the main garden. I purchased 50 new crowns this spring. We also have a few ‘Old North Sea’ strawberry crowns that will be transplanted and propagated. Next year we will have a small harvest, but the following years should be decent. We are looking to reduce the number of strawberries but add other soft fruits, like red and black raspberries, currants, and blueberries.

Do you grow strawberries in your garden?

A Yearly Favorite

June 26th, 2017

Mr Chiots is a happy camper, it’s strawberry season. We grow ‘Sparkle’, along with a few everbearing plants. This variety is our favorite, we’ve grown others in the past, but this on reigns supreme for flavor.


We’ve been making crepes, strawberry shortcake, and just eating them out of hand. It’s a short, sweet season, one that we look forward to every year. Of all the soft fruits, strawberries are probably my favorite. I would definitely choose it over all the others if I had to make a choice.

What’s your favorite seasonal fruit?

The Wildlife Tax

June 29th, 2016

This year the wildlife tax has been really high for the strawberries. We have a large patch of berries, they are one of Mr Chiot’s favorite fruits. There are two, 70 foot long rows that are 3-4 four feed wide. Last year we froze around 40 quarts for winter. This year we lost the first flush of berries to waxwings. A flock of about 15-20 of them came in and gobbled up about 12 quarts of berries in one night.
cedar waxwing
We realized what was happening and covered the berries with row cover to protect them. The few nights later, the raccoons came in and ripped holes in the cover and ate the ripening strawberries. Thankfully we aren’t keeping pigs this year, so we have just enough electric fencing to surround the big garden.
homegrown strawberries 1
After building Fort Knox around the strawberries, we were finally able to harvest a few quarts. We celebrated with shortcake for dinner that night and the next night as well. Generally we love to share our bounty with friends and neighbors, but there hasn’t been enough berries for that.
homegrown strawberries 2
Overall we lost about 50% of our harvest this year to wildlife. Since there has been a drought this spring in Maine, the harvest was already reduced as well. Luckily we have a large patch and are still getting a few for the freezer and a few for eating. At least we have a large enough patch that we are still getting a few berries for the table. Next year I will definitely be covering the berries really early to protect them from the birds and the electric fence will most likely go up around the garden first thing in the spring.

What methods do you employ to protect plants from marauding wildlife? 

New Varieties

June 23rd, 2016

I’m a sucker for trying new varieties of all kinds of things, especially vegetables. I have six different kinds of strawberries in the garden and I just acquired a new one.
old north sea strawberry 1
These ‘Old North Sea’ strawberries were said to have been found on an ancient ancient, viking village site in Denmark.
old north sea strawberry 3
I thought this variety would be a nice addition to my collection of interesting strawberries. It should be interesting to see how it performs and reproduces in the garden. I’m looking forward to tasting one of the berries next summer.

Do you collect different varieties of the same plant?

Friday Favorite: Strawberry Season

June 20th, 2014

Last night we have our first flush of ripe berries from the garden, they were delicious!
strawberries 1
I planted these last year, we have ‘Sparkle’ Junebearing strawberry plants and everbearing ‘Seascape’. I wanted to give overbearing a try to see how they did. Last year they didn’t produce very many berries but it was their first year. We will see how they do this year.
strawberries 2
We enjoyed the berries on strawberry shortcake, one of our favorite summer meals. If you’d like the recipe I posted it a few years ago on this post.
strawberry_shortcake 2
Next year we should have even more strawberries, our plants produce lots of runners. I’ll be moving all the ones that come this year to a new spot in the garden. Strawberries do well if they are moved to a new location every 3 years. I plan on adding a new section in the garden before the old one is exhausted so we alway have lots of berries.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy strawberries?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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