Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Straw(berry) that Broke the Gardener's Back

Mom gave me her "old" strawberry plants last year, which I planted in our berry garden, cared for during the scorching summer, blanketed with leaf mulch over winter, then weeded this spring.  And they have been very, very prolific this year.  I've been picking berries almost every day for the last week and boy, is it back breaking work.  I broke down this morning and took an ibuprofen.

Here are some of the things heard at the house lately:

Come on Rhiannon, have some more strawberries with your hamburger.
Dessert?  Why yes, we have dessert.  It's called cram a bunch of strawberries in your maw.
I'm sure the goats would just love more strawberries.  Chickens too.
Mom, you want some strawberries?
Grandma, you want some strawberries?

Strawberries in the pick'n bucket.  Strawberries in the fridge.  In the freezer.  On the counter top.  In the chicken bucket.  In the dehydrator.  And still more on the plants outside, just waiting to ripen and cause more back pain.

Strawberry muffins, pancakes, smoothies, shortcake, jam.

Is there no end to this madness?!?

I know I shouldn't be complaining.  This has got to be the best harvest of any berry we've ever had, and it only took one year.  My blueberries are still totally pathetic looking, some just barely passing for a living thing.  The blackberries & raspberries died three years ago and although I just bought twelve more canes, I have yet to stick them in the ground.

So although I'll be downing a handful of ibuprofen each morning, I'm thankful for our first real berry harvest.


  1. It's like when I was drowning 2 years ago in dead ripe nectarines. I froze those babies, and made cobblers, and... got to the point I couldn't eat any more. They were great over the winter though... Months and months away with no homegrown fruit.

  2. What a lovely 'dilemma' to have! :) Those strawberries look fantastic - makes me want to bake an angel food cake!

    Have a good weekend.

  3. That is fantastic. We are finally planting the garden this weekend and you already have a harvest!

  4. I feel your pain! I de-weeded my strawberry patch this morning. I am only picking every other day and I'm still battling those damn roly polies! I have to shake them off of the berries GRRRR!!!! I should be going to bed but I'm going to make jam now ☺

    I bet you will miss the berries when they are gone ;)

  5. Carolyn,

    Do you know what type of strawberry plants these are that you received from your mom? I have several plants that are providing a lot of berries but not enough to make a very large harvest daily. Have you tried making strawberry leather for eating with using your dehydrator?

  6. You know that Strawberry wine is excellent!!! I made the suggestion, please share....


  7. Don't complain! We finally got our first strawberries after two years of nothing and we are thrilled. I don't have many plants though so picking is a simple thing.

    Strawberry wine....that sounds wonderful. I may give that a try once my patch builds up.

    I bet some neighbors and friends would love to share....let them come pick!

  8. I've never grew strawberries. Now I'm not sure if I want to. LOL!!

  9. What a horrible problem! I'd have both my dehydrators running full time.

  10. Oh, you poor thing! Feel free to package them up and send them north. Our weather has been so weird - snow/heat/cold/heat - that, while there are lots of flowers on the plants, nothing much has developed. I like that suggestion of strawberry wine, though. Hmmm.

  11. Nancy, although I still enjoy eating them right out of the garden, I am putting most of them in the freezer for the winter when they'll be appreciated once again.

    Mooberry, you know, I've never made angel food cake. May have to just so I can put some strawberries on top.

    Chai Chai, don't feel badly, the only reason I'm getting a strawberry harvest now is because I planted them LAST year...I'm still WAY behind on everything else.

    Kelly, I'm not having roly poly problems, just squishy bottoms, assuming because I didn't put a dry mulch down. Live & learn.

    Sandy, I'm sorry I have no idea what type they are, but there are obviously two types as one is really tiny (like smaller than a dime) and the others are like those huge ones in the grocery stores. Haven't made fruit leather....yet :)

    Don, I've never made wine, but I think a berry wine would be one of my first attempts.

    gld, I think the only reason I got so many this year was because the plants were already two years old when my mom gave them to me.

    SFG, as long as you don't mind bending down it's a great harvest!

    SciFi, I know, I'm such an ingrate!

    Susan, you and Don can bring your wine glasses here when/if I finally make a wine. Man, your weather sure does suck this year :(

  12. OMG! Really, can you ever have too many strawberries? I would be happy with just the amount in your photo! I feel your pain though. A few years ago I got over 100 pounds of peaches off my peach tree in the span of a few weeks. I had bowls and bowls and bowls of peaches to process.