|Jewel. I think Jewel is why there are paintings and needlework arts with strawberries. Ain't they pretty?|
|Add a little salt, Splenda and sugar to heighten the flavor and still get juice.|
|A very unhealthy homemade shortcake - delicious of course.|
We have around 200 strawberry plants: Jewel, Honeye, Sparkle and Ozark Beauty. At this point we are eating strawberries every day and loving it. We made two batches of jam, froze some plain, froze some with Splenda, ate some in the morning, ate some as a side for lunch and ate some with shortcake for dinner. Last year we harvested perhaps a handful of berries due to our lack of thorough weeding and the ever-present slug problem that comes with living in a damp area. So no, I am not yet sick of strawberries, only grateful for the harvest. Hardships make for a grateful heart don't they?
Going to a U-pick and picking strawberries is much different from growing them yourself. I never knew that factors such as sunlight, heat and slugs would play in to when we pick them. After a couple weeks I began to develop my own routine, so much so that my husband wasn't sure how to help me the first time I asked for help picking them. I make just about everything I do 'my own' but I never realized how that can be a problem for others. Note to self: SHARE the picking of the strawberries!
|My red gingham top and strawberries in a basket; I had to capture that shot!|
|I enjoy squishing these guys; although I have to use a rock or my shoe. Ew.|
Berries in the morning that have a little bit of white on the bottom or are more orange than red, can be left on the plants because they would have all day to ripen and the slugs are hiding during the day, so the need to pick berries that are close to ripe is less great. Once the evening comes, however, the picking has to happen in earnest or we lose more to slugs because we allow them to ripen a bit more. My newest gauge for whether or not to pick a berry is 'Would a slug eat this?' again, especially in the evening.
|This one won't be ready for about 12 hours or so.|
|Jams for the Market!|