Monday, June 21, 2010

Independence Days challenge update: strawberries!

Apparently, I don't blog well on nice-weather weekends! (Didn't help that our camera's acting up and we got no photos of the world's most picturesque strawberry-picking day or our beach-with-friends day...) So, here it is, time again for Sharon's Independence Day's Challenge:

(back from the farm, we set up outdoors to prep the strawberries for the freezer)

1. Plant something:
Hablitzia (climbing perennial spinach)--I was excited to discover a perennial-vegetable plant stand at the farmer's market this week! I asked what would grow in shade, and this is what he recommended; I remembered having read about it in my forest gardening book, once he mentioned it. I added two of them to my fledgling forest garden.

Roma tomatoes, more double yield cucumbers, and light red kidney beans from seed in pots on the driveway. (My neighbor came home from vacation, and seeing our new pots-on-driveway garden, asked if we needed any more containers. Yes, we do! She lent us two ceramic planters and a metal refrigerator drawer, so we put in more seeds. I know I'm getting a too-late start on some of these seeds, but I figure we might as well put them in and see what happens.)

(peas in our under-clothesline planter box)
2. Harvest something:
Eggs. Good King Henry, swiss chard. Chives and mint by the kids, doing their daily garden snacking. Foraged elder flowers. 15 quarts strawberries (After years of looking, we finally found organic pick-your-own strawberries on a wonderful farm. We'll be back soon; 15 quarts is not enough. But it's what Lucy could stand in the heat.) A few peas from our garden. One black-cap raspberry! :-)

3. Preserve something:
I discovered tons of elder growing at our CSA and worked up the nerve to ask if I could take some flowers. They said yes, so I made elder flower tincture. We also froze 12 quarts of the strawberries.

5. Preparation and storage:
Added a jar of water to storage.

(potatoes growing in a trash can in our garden)

6. Build community food systems:
Nothing much, though we did make plans to bring friends back to the farm to pick strawberries.

7. Eat the food:

(happy strawberry-stained baby)
Salad. Kale chips. Strawberries with corn cake (mmmm). Strawberry lemonade (lemons are my one non-local produce exception, but even still, lemonade is a rare treat for us). Tons of just-plain strawberries. Radish sandwiches. Snap peas. Lots of simple picnic-y fare.


denise said...

I love strawberry season - and I've been wanting to make many more tinctures this year. Awesome that you found elder flowers!

Annie said...

I wish I grew potatoes in buckets! Maybe next year! What beautiful delicious garden bounty.

Steven Landau said...

Which farmers market do you go to which has the perennial-vegetable plant stand?

What farm?

Heather said...

Strawberry with corn cake sounds delicious. Another must-try strawberry recipe. Thanks.