A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Strawberry Harvests Hit Full Swing--June 27,2011



Harvest of the strawberries continues. I have gone from roughly 2 quarts a day to around 4 quarts a day. I head out first thing in the morning to pick. They decorate the counter all day--we munch and munch and munch on them. Those left in the evening are processed for the freezer. I used to slice them up and add sugar and vacuum seal them. Now I have been pureeing them into the consistency of applesauce and freezing them into 1/2 cup portions. I never cared for the mushiness of the sliced ones. This is more like eating applesauce--just made with strawberries.

Very good indeed. The freezer is filling quickly.


The sad part is that I'm throwing away at least 1 strawberry for every good one I pick. The heavy rains of last week guaranteed a bad case of mold. Even worse, by my own neglect of my patch, much of this problem is my own fault. I did not keep them thinned. I also left a lot of "debris" in from last year. Shame on me, and lesson learned!! I will be using Mama Pea's http://ahomegrownjournal.blogspot.com/ method of tending them from now on. A little bit (ok-a LOT) of work up front saves a lot of misery later on.


Have a great week!

26 comments:

  1. Sue, Yum there's nothing better this time of the year than fresh strawberries right out of the garden. I don't have a patch yet but somewhere down the road I suspect there's a strawberry patch to be added to the Urban Ranch. They just don't seem to produce long enough though. How big is your patch to produce four quarts a day?

    Have a great strawberry harvest day.

    Nebraska Dave

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  2. Oooooh, I'm very jealous! I have NONE this year since I waited to go picking since it was too hot... yep, fields closed that week too!

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  3. I've always maintained strawberries are the most work-intensive fruit to grow. BUT you also get the most "bang for your buck" in the way of harvest compared to blueberries or raspberries. Guess we just have reconcile ourselves to "working" for what we get! I do know strawberries like to be clean and airy. If they get too matted, especially with more than adequate rainfall, you're in for trouble.

    I love your idea of strawberry sauce! Do you put any sweetener with those when you puree them?

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  4. Dave-Hello! I have 5 raised beds of strawberries each containing 24 plants (+their offspring). This patch is now in it's third year. I have 4 different kinds -each with a different maturity date. But, the harvest STILL only lasts a bit more than 2 weeks.
    :(

    Erin-OH NO!! No strawberries AT ALL????????
    I wish I could wish away your hot weather.

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  5. Mama Pea-I don't add any sugar to MY sauce, but I do add a TEENSY bit to the ones for hubby. He needs to be a little EXTRA sweet!
    :D
    I sorta STOLE this idea from you and took it to the extreme. I remember you wrote that you crushed your berries instead of slicing. I liked that idea and went with it.
    I also wanted to thank you so much (again!!) for your post on chopping/freezing chives. I'm on a kick at breakfast with 1 egg scrambled and a spoonful of chives from the freezer added. I was always TOO lazy to run out and get chives fresh. The frozen work fantastic.

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  6. I am so hungry for strawberry shortcake, but my berries are not cooperating. There's still hope, as the blossoms are big and I've eaten one or two ripe berries on my last two trips to the garden.

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  7. SUE...I am green with envy! Or should I say a strawberry color of envy.

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  8. AG-it's odd that you wouldn't have the strawberries yet but have loads of raspberries. My raspberry bushes are loaded with just the start of the berry. I'm weeks away from them yet. Hope you get your shortcake soon!

    Forest-One advantage of living up north. We do get the berries!!

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  9. My strawberries are day neutral, and always get off to a slow start. We're also 2-3 weeks behind, due to our cold spring. I expect the berries to start ripening in a week or two. They normally bear well in July (good) & August (best), then taper off in September.

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  10. AG-I had forgotten you do the day-neutral ones. That explains!
    I've always meant to try them---I'd love to have a longer period of strawberries. Two weeks is TOO short!

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  11. Sue, I don't know if it's so much being lazy, but it just seems like too much trouble to drop everything and run outside whenever you want some fresh chives. Having them right there in the freezer works out so well for me . . . and glad to hear it works for you, too! And the neat thing is they keep their vibrant green color all the time they're frozen. :o}

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  12. Mama Pea-the taste is divine--soooo much better than dried too! You're the best!

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  13. Wow, you are getting a lot of strawberries for loosing one to every one picked! I am hoping that we will be in strawberry heaven next year!

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  14. I don't have enough room for a nice sized strawberry patch, except for across the street. I got some plants from a friend, but there is too much shade for them to do well. Plus, they are in a spot where they probably didn't get enough water when I first planted them. I bought 3 strawberry plants recently, and haven't decided where to plant them. I imagine there won't be any for the freezer from 3 plants, but I thought maybe they'd send out some runners.

    Your berries are beauties. I like your idea of mashing them for the freezer.

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  15. Robin-I'm sure you will have a great crop!
    :)

    Corner Gardener Sue-depending on the variety, three should be plenty. I have some strawberries that send out TONS of runners-it's almost a full time job keeping up with them all!

    Daisy-thank you!!
    :)

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  16. They look yummy, at least the ones you were able to keep do!!

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  17. The strawberries in our area are finished for the year. They weren't too flavorful due to all the rain. We are still getting plenty of rain, but it is mixed with plenty of sun between showers. Up here on my hill it is all good for the plants (though I am getting tired of mowing so much grass) I'm seeing wildflowers I have never seen before.
    Your beds are looking pretty healthy.
    nellie

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  18. Kelly-the moldy ones didn't go completely to waste-the compost heap is filling in nicely.
    :(

    Beyond My Garden-Your photo of the yellow finch in those wildflowers was excellant. I'd mow less and return more to the wild!
    :)

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  19. I keep thinking of doing fruit, but I'm still crap at vegetables so I think I'll give it a bit of time!

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  20. IG-You are HARDLY an idiot at veggies. And as you can see --I'm LEARNING fruit myself. It's SO worth it, despite all my screw-ups. Please try some berries-you'll be so happy you did!

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  21. Sue, i'm glad your strawberry harvest has started but sorry to hear of the 1 to 1 ratio of bad berries. Our cool, wet weather has me really worried about my tomato plants. I enjoy your blog and have added it to my blogroll.

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  22. I forgot to comeback and look at your beautiful gardens. I thought of them yesterday.While at the VA I get caught up on reading. I saw a picture perfect old spring from a bed against a rough saw board of sorts -red&white washed ,then gathering in &out of the worn out springs was a climbing plant,ivy maybe-I don't know why,but it made me think of your gardens---strawberries look nummy too.

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  23. Congrats on your harvest! :-)

    A little bit (ok-a LOT) of work up front saves a lot of misery later on can apply to so many things in life.

    Have a great weekend :-)

    ~Ron

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  24. Judy-I've noticed that with things too-we get to know the folks we read and they become a part of our life. Thanks for stopping!

    Ron-If only we could get teenagers to see the logic of hard work now......

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  25. Holy Moly! Those 2 shots at the beggining are amazing...love the change over a months' time!

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