Prepping, homesteading and living the simple, green, independent life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Strawberry Picking

Our family went strawberry picking this morning, it's a fun thing to do once in a while and I think it's a good way to help our 3-year old daughter realize where food comes from.

While my wife picked berries with our oldest I went for a walk around the farm with our youngest in the stroller.

The farm was huge and it seemed like they were doing succession planting which made sense.  The acre furthest to the east was were the most mature plants were and as you moved west the plants went from just sprouting to bare earth.

A few things I noticed made me wish there was somebody around who worked there to chat with though.

I was surprised to see that there were weeds throughout the fields.  Purple Loose-stryfe was everywhere which was odd because it seems to me like there isn't much of it along the roads this year.  In fact I think this is the first time I saw it this season.

Straw was spread out between the rows which makes good mulch and breaks down into the soil.  It also makes it easier for people to walk on.

The earth itself was pretty chunky from the clay-heavy soil we have around here.  The straw will add some organic material to the clay but I was surprised by how heavy the clay was.  This farm has been around for decades and I thought the soil condition would have been better.  Maybe strawberries like clay soil?  They seemed to be doing okay in it.

Speaking of the strawberries themselves I was impressed by how many there were.  The plants were pretty productive; even the very small and young plants had berries.

Our little plant at home has only produced a dozen or so berries so far and most of them were eaten by the robins.  I wonder what the farm does to keep the birds away?

I have lots of questions after this trip; I'm going to have to read up on growing strawberries!

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