Self-Sufficiency Series

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A boatload of strawberries

You're gonna love this.

We gave up on planting strawberries this year. If you remember, our berry patch is so weed-infested that I'm giving up and transplanting everything elsewhere. I tried growing strawberries a long time ago, but the weeds got 'em.

With all our other projects, there wasn't time to build strawberry beds, so I figured it was hopeless to order bareroot strawberries this year. I didn't count on Don's creativity.

Many years ago, while picking up a truckful of used field fencing, Don came home with a battered wooden rowboat he got for $5. He had hopes of restoring it.



Well, it never happened. The boat sat upside down for five years, getting more and more weathered. Meanwhile a dear old lady gave us a canoe she no longer wanted since her husband passed away, and thus we had no need for a boat.

So Don suggested using it for strawberries!



I thought this was a spiffy idea. He drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage. Then we roped it up and pushed and pulled it into the orchard (which is now contiguous with the garden). The damn thing weighs a ton and it took a helluva lot of work to get it into place. I spaded out a slight hollow and we settled the boat.



Then Don scooped dirt with the tractor and filled it. This dirt is pretty bad stuff, but we topped it with rich wonderful composted-manure soil from the corral.





Meanwhile I ordered 75 bareroot strawberry plants...and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Finally the company said they'd shipped them, and I waited some more. In fact, it took two weeks for the strawberries to arrive after being shipped (some sort of delivery mixup), and I was sure they'd be dead. However I followed the directions to soak the roots for half an hour, then settled them into that beautiful corral soil, now snug in the strawberry boat.

So far so good. We'll see if they make it.

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