dreaming of strawberry shortcake

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After unpacking the moving boxes all of last summer, I decided last Fall that it would be worthwhile to try planting our own strawberries this year.  I remember those grown on my grandparents’ farm during my childhood: sweet, juicy berries that were a treat when picked right out of the garden.  Supermarket berries are usually tart with a grainy texture (its no wonder that my oldest Sprout has recently declared a boycott!).  Those from the store are like this because the natural sugar in the berries begins to convert to starch as soon as its plucked from the plant.

Last week, a friend’s neighbor was thinning out his notoriously delicious bed and offered us some freebies.  All he could tell me is that the mother plants originated in Montrose, CO (not too far from here) and that they’re everbearers.  These will form buds during the long days of summer and shorter days of autumn.  Gently picking off the first summer flowers will help strengthen the roots and ensure a steady supply of berries through at least September!  Can we say “yum”?!?  (Yes, its the little things that excite me.)  Our tiniest Sprout was my helper last week as we carefully prepared the soil with tilling and composting followed by  transplanting and mulching.  This is a small step for our {sub}urban farm but a step towards increased self-sufficiency nonetheless.  In the meantime, we’re all dreaming of strawberry shortcake….

 

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