Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer fruit: strawberries

Photo of a bunch of red strawberries growing next to a low brick wall
Alpine strawberries, July 2017
 The alpine strawberries, variety Baron Solemacher, have been producing regularly since June.  It's nice to pick a small handful of these sweet little berries.  They really are small, though!
Photo of a small red strawberry on the palm of a hand
This is a big one!
They have a nice sweet flavor, with a little bit of tartness.  I like their crisp outer seeds, too;  they add a nice texture.  Most of the berries get eaten out of hand, but as we've been picking the blackcurrants to freeze, some of these strawberries have snuck their way into the freezer bag (gooseberries too).  This is their second summer:  I sowed them as seeds in 2016. 
Photo of two ripe strawberries growing under chicken wire
Strawberries under chicken wire;  it stopped the birds but not the slugs

I have around ten or twelve maincrop strawberry plants, but don't really have a dedicated bed for them.  Some of them live next to the alpine strawberries, a couple were hiding under this spring's sprouting broccoli (I thought I'd moved all of them last summer), and there are a few scattered elsewhere in the perennial section of the garden.  They, like the alpine strawberries, flowered quite early but not all of them produced fruit this summer.

We ate most of these berries in June--about a month earlier than usual--and now they're finished.  As these strawberries are sending out lots of new runners, I hope to establish a brand new bed for them in the perennials section later this year.  Hopefully next year we'll get a bigger harvest.

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