Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Saskatoons and Cherries

Despite the drizzly cold weather we’ve had things are actually ripening here in my little bit of sponge. Tonight after dinner I fairly breezed through the garden gleaning a little of this and a little of that. Not much of any one thing, mind you, but the joy of being able to find so many fruits in just our second year of this was indescribable.

It looks like the bundt pans I bought at Goodwill and strung from the saskatoon and cherry trees are warding off the marauding robins and crows. I just wish there was a version of this suitable for slugs.

And while I haven’t had quite the quantities of strawberries this year as last due to the chickens decimating the plants this spring it’s enough for us to eat this for breakfast nearly every other day

Sadly I’ll have to buy my berries for mes confitures this year. I selected Strawberry with Pinot Noir and Spices for my can jam entry but it looks like I’ll miss the deadline. Technically I’m out anyway since I missed posting my March allium entry by the deadline (in fact I have yet to post it despite that I’ve made not 1 but 4 batches of amazing caramelized onion jam.) But post I will once school is finally out and I don’t have to get up so early getting everyone ready in the morning.

I have so many posts to catch up on: the goat fest from nearly 2 months ago now, my attempt at soap using goat milk that more resembles a baby ruth bar and thus I’ve dubbed it the goat poop soap, my tomato trellises and rat fortress (did you know I already have RED tomatoes?), our Memorial day weekend wherein we pitched a tent in the basement to evade torrential rain storms and used the kitchen torch to roast our homemade marshmallows for homemade graham crackers and the pantry giveaway for wonderful Kat that I’ve been working on and hope to wrap up and post about next week.

I have been a busy beaver despite all the end of year volunteering, school activities and gardening.

Before I hit the hay I want to mention two things:

1. Prune your tomatoes. It’s time. I know there are folks in the no prune camp like Tom but, especially this year, unless you have a vast garden area where they can be leisurely spaced apart you should consider pruning the non-fruiting branches and trellising them upward. This lets more of that rare sunlight in to ripen the fruit and increases air flow, hopefully warding off fungal diseases. Here is my post from last year about pruning tomatoes. I know they look naked and as tiny as a wet cat just after you prune them but trust me they’ll be back rawhring in no time flat.

2. Order your winter seeds if you haven’t already! The Territorial winter seed catalog is out and you have mere weeks to start brassicas and cole crops indoors. Last year I had every intention of starting my fall and winter crops by midsummer but it was more like August. I paid the price with a gap in edibles in early winter. Granted it was a short gap but it would have been nice to eat more than just mache and kale for weeks on end. You can read more about it here.

And this is my entry from last year complete with my planting schedule which I didn’t adhere to. We’ll see if it happens this year…

10 Responses to Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Saskatoons and Cherries

  1. Pruning my tomatoes, I’ve never done that! Well… I do usually end up taking off quite a bit just to avoid the awful “b” word! Good to know! Also, thanks for the heads up about winter seeds :) I’m a few weeks behind you so I’ll be looking into this now. If I can, this will be my first year of winter gardening!! Way excited but we’ll see.. our temps drop way below 0!

  2. And I was feeling so good about my tiny green cherry tomato I found yesterday, along with green raspberries, and green plums.

    Why does a few miles make such a huge difference?? :) Your berries look amazing! I need to learn more about those cherries.

  3. The Univ Farmers market has a farmer with organic strawberries in a 10gallon bucket for $20.
    They’re 2nds so you have to throw out about a quart of them, but it’s worth it for pureeing/jams, etc. I now have lots of frozen strawberry things. I think it’s a great deal.

  4. The only things suitable for slugs are ducks. Ducks love slugs and will forage for them endlessly throughout the garden and fruit trees/bushes.

  5. Diana if you don’t yet have Four Season Harvest by Eliot Cole you should get it! He is in vermont or somewhere and manages without a heated greenhouse. He has crop lists and schedules that would be suitable for you.

    Myrnie I am full sun, on a hill facing south with gravel and metal around the plants to reflect, direct, maintain heat and red plastic mulch on the ground. Plus the red ones are on the 4th of July tomato plant that I bought from Billy, all the other ones I started myself and they only have tiny fruits on them so don’t feel bad! I will do a post on them soon.

    Hi Carolyn – that’s Billy. I did get a few of those buckets last year and I still have some in the freezer I just found DOH! So making strawberry popsicles later…I just dropped off a jar of tomato jam for Billy at the market this morning. I heart him!

    Nita, it’s tempting to be sure. My dh put his foot down (although he did that with the chickens too.) I am still considering ducks…and turkeys once the city increases the limit on city fowl to 8. Thanks for the tip! Do you have ducks? And if so have you found them to be messier or less destructive than chickens?

  6. Lucky you with ripe strawberries! Mine are sulking due to the cool/overcast conditions we have been experiencing for weeks now. There is fruit on the plants – just green.

    I am generally in the no prune camp for tomatoes unless I am growing them up a vertical support structure. I did plant my tomatoes with more spacing between them this year to increase air circulation since we had fungal disease hit last year. Definitely agree with you on the seed starting for fall crops. I have two large trays full of seed starts in the greenhouse which is the start of my fall crop planting efforts.

  7. I wish I had berries! I am waiting for u-picks to be ready. I am also planning for winter harvests, but it seems odd since spring/summer weather isnt even here yet. I am eyeing the purple peacock broccoli-kale cross from territorial.

  8. I can’t believe you have red tomatoes! You’re reinforcing my desire to sell my house to find a sunnier yard! Thanks for the winter seed reminder, I ordered them yesterday!

  9. Hey, nice pictures! I look forward to seeing more of what you learned in that food photography class!

  10. Thanks – I actually took these the night before we took the class. I’m always a week or month behind…

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