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Making Way

October 8th, 2015

I’m making way in the garden for more things next year. That means thousands of strawberry plants are coming out. There are still plenty of strawberries out there, just not the ridiculous amounts that we had this summer. I left at least half of the plants and I’m debating cutting that in half again. Strawberries do best when the exhausted plants are pulled every couple years and the young plants are allowed to get established. I also like to move them to a new spot for crop rotation purposes. The nice this about berries is that they migrate on their own.
pulling Strawberry plants
I tried to find people locally who were interested in plants, but no one seemed to want them. Oh well, I guess they’ll compost down into something lovely to feed the garden. Yesterday I was able to finish pulling the rest of the plants and get a layer of compost spread over the row. Next spring it will be ready for whatever I decide to plant, maybe something edible, maybe just a cover crop.

What chores are you finally getting done in the garden?

Friday Favorite: Frozen Strawberries

August 21st, 2015

Way back in June, we had a flush of strawberries. Our patch produced over 100 quarts of berries. A few went into a batch of jam, some were eaten fresh, some went to the neighbors, and the rest were frozen. Lately, on these hot days, I’ve been enjoying strawberry smoothies for my lunch.
Strawberry smoothie
They’re quick to make, tasty to eat, and give me just the right boost of energy without being too filling. I add frozen strawberries to the blender, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, a pinch of salt, and a splash of maple syrup. Whir it all up and enjoy!

What’s your favorite quick meal on a hot day of garden work?

Teeny Strawberries

August 18th, 2014

I’ve grown strawberries from seed a few times before, it’s the only way to acquire some varieties for your garden unless you’re lucky enough to know someone else growing them that will give you plant. Many years ago I started seed for golden strawberries and have had them in my garden ever since. Their tiny yellow berries have a tropical flavor and are quite good on salads.
yellow_strawberry_harvest
I also started ‘Tarpan’ strawberries from seed many years ago and brought one plant with me when I moved. It produces beautiful pink flowers all summer long, the berries are also good.
tarpan_strawberry_blooming 3
This year I purchased strawberry seeds once again for ‘Elan’, which is a day neutral strawberry and ‘Gasana’ another day neutral variety with pink flowers.
strawberry seeds 3
Strawberry seeds are tiny, very tiny and there are usually only 10-15 in each seed packet.
strawberry seeds 4
I sowed them in containers and waited. Soon enough the tiny seedlings emerged. It’s amazing to see these little plants, the first set of true leaves look just like strawberry leaves but they are so very small.
strawberry seeds 1
strawberry seeds 2
I can’t wait to see how these plants produce next year. I’m always game to have new varieties of fruits and vegetables in the garden, especially when I can nurture a plant from a tiny seed.

Have you started anything interesting from seed this summer?

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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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