Ah Spring! The birds sing, the snow melts and a gardeners green thumb gets itchy! (In no particular order. Sometimes all at once.)
I have a particular interest in plants that come back year after year. They are good gardening buddies. Popping up through snow and/or mulch as if they were old friends stopping in to say hello. With a little love - and luck - they return bigger and better than the year before.
Strawberries are a very familiar summer berry. Last spring I purchased mine through our local green house - Hollets Nursery. I went down the road and nestled them in my garden box at the Eastport Community garden. (Ask st the Eastport town office if interested). Last year was the first year in their new home. I was a little early and the frost got to some of them. Spring will tell just how many bushels I will be harvesting this coming season.
This photo (below) was from a berry patch I started in St.Chad's. A young friend of mine was selling through a school fundraiser. I add compost every year and the plants have been doing extremely well. They have also produced some beautiful fruit. It is unfortunate that the slugs tend to get to them before I do. Slugs! The bane of my gardening existence!
An older strawberry patch needs to be selectively culled every now and then. They crowd themselves out and it isn't good for the patch. If you happen to have a friend with an envious lot; spilling it's abundance, you may want to make a casual enquiry as to when they plan to remove some of their plants. This may open you up to a temp gardening gig but you also get yourself some strawberry plants.
The wild strawberry is the top of the crop. It's sweet taste is beyond compare. Its small size however makes it unlikely you will be able to produce a pie or bottle of jam. If I can manage to get a couple of handfuls back to a kitchen - without eating them as though I would never get the chance to eat again, I like to mix them with some fresh cream. The taste isn't lost and the small berries's flavour can be stretched to a dessert that can be shared among friends - if sharing these priceless treasures is something you feel is required.
'Old friends' to enjoy - Strawberries and blueberries; rhubarb is a wonderful old standard - try some asparagus!