Strawberry Field Forever
It's one of the the most wonderful seasons on the farm......Strawberry Season! It's a time of year where your fingers are red- there's likely less in your bucket than in your stomach- and very quickly you are researching ways to savor and capture the flavor of this special season. The Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever" keeps running through my head....although the meaning of the song has absolutely nothing to do with picking strawberries. Google it.
Our first spring at Seedpod Farm we decided to till up a section of our hay field for use as a "Jam Patch". In truth, this small parcel is a proving ground for varieties we will work into the u-pick section of our farm....in a few years. The idea was to plant a number of different varieties of berries and then see what does the best for our microclimate. When Adam and I are tottering, we'll still be able to hang out in the Jam Patch and have more than enough delicious berries to share.
We have 5 varieties of strawberries- Albion, Seascape, Shuksan, Tristar- and one mystery berry that was growing on the place.....as well as 8 varieties of blueberries, raspberries, jostaberries, 3 varieties of currants, gooseberries, marionberries, blackberries, huckleberries and 2 varieties of rhubarb. For such a small space- we have a lot of jam making potential.
This year the Jam Patch, as we lovingly call it, is hitting it's stride. The strawberries are flavorful and a rich, dark red. The cane plants are coming along nicely. We look forward to lots of berries this year......I hope. Last year I was lamenting our complete lack of blueberry harvest. What was eating them? Why weren't they producing? And then I discovered the reason. The Seedpod Kids were belly-crawling under the electric fence to absolutely scour the plants clean. I was shocked- showed them how to turn off the electric fence and asked them to save some for us!!!
This year, while I'm not sure that I will have enough to include in our CSA shares- I will definitely have enough to throw in the freezer for a wintertime blast of summertime flavor....and I've got my eye on those kids!