Strawberries – We Hit the Mother Lode!

Would you look at those berries!

There’s 14 ice cream buckets of berries there – yes 14!

Would you believe our 8 little strawberry plants produced such bounty?! Yeah – I didn’t think so.

Actually – they didn’t come from my pathetic patch. Our good friends Laverne and Caroline offered us the opportunity to pick their patch. They moved into an Amish house a few months ago – and with the house came an Amish sized strawberry bed.

This was the first big picking – and we were all amazed at the size and number of berries.

We picked 15 buckets total – they  just kept one and sent the rest with us. Laverne just smiled and said, “I know where we can get some more!”

Oh yeah – they will be picking strawberries enough for an Amish family of 12 every other day for the foreseeable future! 🙂

So what did I do with all those berries?

The first thing we did was to wash a handful and one at a time we dipped them in sour cream and rolled them in brown sugar before eating them.  Heavenly!

Then it was time for the real work to get started.

Angel Girl and Buddy  were the only kids at home – so we sat them at a table hulling strawberries all day long. They started at 11:00 – had about a half hour break for lunch – and finished at 5:30.

They had a great time! Seriously – they did, mostly because I let them watch movies while they worked. So, other than being covered with sticky strawberry juice and having sore fingers, they were happy campers. Being able to watch TV for 5 hours straight was a real treat!

While they were enjoying their Veggie Tales marathon – I took their finished berries and made 2 fresh strawberry pies, 11 pints of jam, 10 quarts of sauce, and froze 10 quarts of berries. The rest we ate fresh or I put in a huge berry bowl in the fridge.

I think I can honestly say that that is more strawberries than I have ever worked with at one time in my life!

I think I can also say that I used to really envy those Amish strawberry beds – but no longer.  My dream strawberry patch has gotten much, much smaller! 🙂

Bless you Laverne and Carolyn!

The Great Strawberry Saga

It was just a year ago that I started my new strawberry bed.

Just one year ago that I hauled all that smelled chicken poo in the wheelbarrow across the farm yard and tilled it all in with my handy -dandy Mantis Tiller (the wonder machine).

Just one year ago that I planted over 70 strawberry plants. Yes – 70.

I had such high hopes.

Ha!

Then it rained. And rained. And rained.

When the sun finally came out – the weeds grew and grew and grew.

About mid-July I gave up. I had green beans by the bucketful to take care of, county fair, company coming and a VBS to plan. I had no time to spend in a strawberry bed.

I didn’t even look at the patch again until last week.

I got on my hands and knees and started digging out weeds. I had some of the kids help me and turned it into a hide and seek game. In all – we discovered 8 strawberry plants.

Yes – eight.

I’m not so good at math – but it seems to me that adds up to over 60 plants that didn’t make it.

Let’s see now. There’s seven people in my family and eight strawberry plants. If each plant produces 3 berries this season we can all have about 3-1/3 berries.

So much for strawberry shortcake, strawberry preserves, and strawberry pie.

But I’m not giving up! My friend Dorothy offered me as many strawberry plants as I wanted and I intend to take her up on that.

I’ll replant and mulch well and wait another year.

Yep – I’m sure I needed that exercise anyway!

Now where’s that wheelbarrow…

I’ve linked this post up with my friend Myra over at My Blessed Life for her Friday Fails and over at the Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.