Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberries!

 Pixie loves strawberries. She would ask for them and gaze in awe of them at the grocery store. I have fought myself on it because I know they are on the "dirty dozen" list of conventional foods, but I have even more gained the desire to have my own patch after hearing about the possible approval of a new pesticide to be used on them.

“I’m not in blanket opposition to the use of pesticides, but methyl iodide alarms me,” said Theodore A. Slotkin, a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke University Medical Center and a member of the scientific review committee. “When we come across a compound that is known to be neurotoxic, as well as developmentally toxic and an endocrine disruptor, it would seem prudent to err on the side of caution, demanding that the appropriate scientific testing be done on animals instead of going ahead and putting it into use, in which case the test animals will be the children of the state of California.”
Full article here.

Besides all of that, they are simply so expensive to buy in a constant stream from the local grocer. I would love to have a bumper crop of my own and stuff ourselves silly with strawberries every year. 
Moving a few months ago, with all the many things that have to be done inside and out in this house, I have attempted to get a strawberry patch. At first I tried to put some in one of those Topsy Turvy things that we found for almost free at Menards. Some of the root balls never grew and all but one of the plants died. 
I discovered that on the less sunny side of the house, a previous owner had planted lots of strawberries, but I wasn't sure how much sun they got on that side, so I wasn't in high hopes for a good crop. 
I took a look at the other side and decided to shovel out the rock garden, rip up the plastic, cultivate sand from the pit and peat moss into it.  

I was pleasantly surprised when the rocks and plastic came up easily and almost in one sheet, then horrified when I found a horrendous colony of ants beneath it. Sadly, I had to wait. I bought those granules that can be used around gardens, then had to endure torrents of thunderstorms until my patch was ant-free and dry enough to dig in. Yesterday I worked outside for hours and hand cultivated the patch. I planted my lone alive strawberry plant, along with three others I got at a local store. I meandered to the other side of the house to see if those part-sunned strawberries were, in fact, going to ripen.
And this is what I found! 


They were delicious! And I say 'were' because Pixie at almost the entire bowl. There are more ripening and I'm planning on taking some cuttings to plant in my new patch on the other side of the house. 
Hooray! Get rid of your rock gardens and plant strawberry patches!


1 comment:

Cantwell Chaos said...

Oooh! Sounds tasty!!! What an unexpected and yummy surprise!!!