Saturday, June 4, 2016

Beginning of the bounty

It's strawberry season.

We have 12 beds of strawberries: two rectangular beds of ever-bearing, and ten large tires of June-bearing.

For weeks, we've been eagerly waiting for these little vitamin C bombs to ripen. For the past several days, we've been teased with the occasional red one.

I thought I was going to have to net the strawberry beds when I started seeing half-eaten berries on the ground once in awhile.

Last year, our strawberry crop was decimated by hundreds of industrious chipmunks.

This year I literally haven't seen any chipmunks in the strawberries. There are a few around, but not enough to worry about. Chipmunk populations, it appears, fluctuate.

The culprit berry-eaters, as it turns out, are the chickens, who manage to slip into the garden once in awhile. So far they're not being too greedy, so I won't worry about netting since I can do so any time.

The weather and temperatures have been whiplashing around in typical spring fashion, but now we're in for a hot spell... last night I told Younger Daughter we should go pick strawberries very early, before it got too hot.

Like spring rubies, eh?

We ended up with 5.75 lbs.

I've decided to start a tally to determine how much we harvest over the season.

Lihn enjoyed her share...

...and I hulled and froze the rest. This is just the beginning of the wonderful strawberry bounty. Love our garden!


  1. Do you ever wonder if you can die from overeating strawberries? Sometimes when I leave the garden I wonder.

  2. Do you ever have issues with slugs? If so, what do you do to keep them from eating your strawberries. They love eating my plants.

    1. Thankfully, no. We seldom see slugs, and even then they're no more than half an inch long. I well remember the banana slugs in California when I was a kid -- four or five inches long.

      - Patrice

    2. We have recently begun keeping ducks. We put a small chickenwire fence around the strawberries and other tender plants and then fenced in the rest of the garden to be the ducks' run. They eat every single slug in the garden, as well as many other bugs and they weed between the raised garden beds too!

    3. Slugs = bait. Go fishing! Natokadn

    4. You might want to try sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the base of your plants. It's perfectly safe for humans and pets to ingest (just don't breath it in) but kills slugs, maggots and other bugs. We sprinkle it on every horizontal surface in the chicken's pen and have seen a huge reduction in the number of flies. Last year I even sprinkled DE around the foundation and had fewer bugs in our house. We buy it forty pounds at a time from our local feed store. Hope this helps. It's frustrating to grow beautiful berries only to have them eaten by slugs!

    5. Thank you for the ideas! So far the DE seems to be working.

  3. Those look delicious. Perfectly ripe strawberries are a true delight. Also, now I'm hungry.

  4. If the chipmonks weren't so cute I'd exterminate them. As it is, all I can do is throw rocks at them which isn't effective at all. I now have a little dog who thinks he's the brave hunter. Perhaps this year I'll get more berries.

    And by the way, if you can die from eating too many strawberries I'll explain it to God. He'll smile and understand, I'm sure.

  5. Bad chipmonks, I hope you have a good hunting cat.

  6. Oh! How I envy you. In a good way. I admire you and just wish I could go visit and talk to you with a glass of wine. Work on your farm for months to learn all I can. You're awesome. Thank you for your awesome blog and the time you take to write so many interesting things and beautiful fotos. You and your family are in my daily prayers. Hugs and blessings your way...Alicia (south Texas gal) :)

  7. I keep a few in the fridge cut up for yogurt etc, just opening the lid and smelling them is a memory trip! The smell of strawberries is definitely a summer smell!!

  8. Your beds are beautiful, Patrice! Happy picking! :-)

  9. I'm growing strawberries for the first time this year and have yet to yield any fruit. The plants really only started growing about three weeks ago after a very long cold spring. This is only my second year gardening but I'm going to keep at it.