Late spring in the Willamette Valley — you know what that means: fresh strawberries. Some people tromp off to large farms to pick them. Kris and I harvest our own.
I’m particularly fond of our plants. The ones running wild in the rose bed come from the Gingeriches. They’re threatening to crowd out the flowers. The strawberry plants in among the raspberries came from Mac and Pam (who, in turn, originally got them from us — essentially, these are descendants of the plants I bought when we first moved into the house in Canby).
Our first strawberries of the season weren’t so good. We gave a batch of them to the neighbors, and it made me feel guilty. They were more “waterberries” than strawberries — they were flavorless from too much rain. Over the past week, though, their flavor has improved.
Last Friday, Kris picked five pounds from in and and among her roses. On Sunday, we put Will and Tiffany to work harvesting the fruit. There’s still more to come, too. Meanwhile, we’ve been snatching raspberries here and there. The berries aren’t very big, but they’re flavorful. (These raspberries are from Mac and Pam, too.) Our three highbush blueberries (transplanted from the neighbors) aren’t going to bear this year (they had a lot of fruit last year, even though they’d just been transplanted), but our two lowbush varieties are straining under the weight. Just a couple more weeks and I’ll be eating blueberries at every meal.
I’ve been eating fresh peas ever since the strawberries came on. Crunchy and delicious. They’re actually better after sitting in the fridge overnight, sealed inside a plastic bag with a bit of water.
There’s still lots more to come. We’re just getting started with the garden produce. Kris’ tomato plants are ENORMOUS! (I plan to climb one up to the clouds, where I’ll steal a harp and a goose and various other goodies from the giants who live there.)
Addendum by Kris: I am trying a new fertilizer this year, which may account for some of the tomatoes’ enormity. Also, we have six pears and countless apples, though they’re all quite small yet.
Meanwhile, other things are sprouting at the Cronk residence…