Sunday, November 24, 2013

SweeTango® Apple - Let Your Taste Buds Dance!


If the only apple I'd ever tasted was 'Red Delicious', I don't think I'd eat very many apples.  It tastes okay, but once I had a 'Granny Smith', I turned my back on 'Red Delicious'.  There were other apples that came later - 'Gala', 'Fuji', 'Idared', and many more.  Then along came Honeycrisp™ and it was game over.

I can pinch pennies with the best of 'em, but I like Honeycrisp™ so well that I'm willing to pay a higher price for them because they really are that much better, according to my taste buds.  I like JAZZ™ apples too, but Honeycrisp™ still wins out.

SweeTango® apples                                                                    Stemilt Growers / Wikimedia Commons


This week, I found a new (to me) apple in the produce section.  It was the name that caught my attention: SweeTango®.  I guessed that it would be sweet and tart - just the way I like my apples.  There was the matter of texture and juiciness too, but there was only one way to find out how it measured up.  I bought five of them.

sweetango.com
Today, I ate my first SweeTango® and it's all that a good eating apple should be.  Just the right combination of sweet with a hint of tart.  The flesh was firm and dense and crispy when I bit into it.  Not overly juicy, but juicy enough.  Finally - and this is big - the skin tasted good too.  So many apples have skins that have a slightly bitter taste but not this one.  As I said on Facebook, this apple may just give Honeycrisp™ a run for the money.

It's not surprising that SweeTango® rivals Honeycrisp™ because Honeycrisp™ is one of its parents.  Crossed with Zestar!™,  SweeTango® was hybridized at the University of Minnesota, the same program that brought us 'Haralson', 'Honeygold', and yes, Honeycrisp™.  It debuted in 2009.

 

It took them 10 years to get  SweeTango® just right.  It took me just a few seconds to confirm it.


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*This blog post contains a video.  If you are receiving Our Little Acre by email, the video may not appear.  Click here to go to the Our Little Acre website to view it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Wisdom: Tomato Tidbit


As one who dislikes raw tomatoes, I pick up on anything that reinforces my choice to not eat them.  I have extolled their nastiness here, so I won't go into that again, but thanks to my friend Charlotte, over at Dirt du Jour, chalk one up on the side of eating them cooked, not raw.

She brought to my attention a news article reporting on studies that state the virtues of lycopene.  No surprise there.  We all know that lycopene is a valuable anti-oxidant that is beneficial to our skin, and helps protect us against certain types of cancer as well as osteoporosis. Lycopene also provides some protection from the sun's UV rays.

But did you know that cooking those tomatoes greatly increases the body's ability to absorb that lycopene?  Just like carrots, cooking them makes them better, healthwise. Yeah, I don't like raw carrots either.  Maybe my body just senses what is good for it. (Not sure why I crave English toffee, however.)

Not only that, but when eaten with a small amount of oil or fat (such as cheese on pizza), the ability of lycopene to be absorbed by the intestines is enhanced.¹

Let me say that again:  Cooked tomatoes are better for you than raw ones. That means you should eat more ketchup, tomato soup, chili soup, pizza, spaghetti sauce, and drink more tomato juice.

Lucky me, I like all those things.

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¹Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, "Health properties of tomatoes," WebMD, date accessed March 24, 2013.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Late Season Surprises


The week has ended on a much better note weatherwise than it began. Though we didn't experience the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy that the East Coast did, she managed to affect us in smaller ways. We had continual winds, rain, and even a little sleet and snow before things calmed down yesterday.

I've been busy with writing tasks and travel, as well as helping out with our new little granddaughter, Hannah, and the gardens have been a little neglected. Finally, today I was able to get out there to do a little cleaning up. With temperatures in the high 40s, you might think I'd be a bit chilly, but nothing a coat and expending some energy couldn't deal with!

As I worked at cleaning out excess leaves, trimming dead branches and pulling mushy perennial foliage, I noticed little things that I wouldn't have otherwise. Simply strolling through the garden, I would have missed so much.


Tucked behind plants that have buckled in the winds, I found two irises ready to bloom! I've never seen this one bloom this late before and even 'Immortality', a known reblooming German bearded iris, has never bloomed in November.

Who would have thought we'd still be picking and eating fresh
strawberries in November either?


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'd never come across a monarch chrysalis in the garden this summer. The monarchs were fairly plentiful, especially the latter half of the summer, and I found several caterpillars on the milkweed, so I knew metamorphosis was taking place. Today, I found proof:


Monarch caterpillars crawl away from the milkweed to form their chrysalides in a protected location up to 30 feet away. I found an empty chrysalis on the underside of a Heuchera leaf, about six feet
away from the nearest milkweed.


But the most astonishing thing I found was a monarch caterpillar. A tiny one.  It was so small, it's a wonder I even noticed it. The milkweed it was on was mostly yellow and dying, but did show some fresh new growth at the top. Still, the cold temperatures and lateness of the season have caused most of the milkweed to lose their leaves and they're left as bare stems standing sentinel in the garden.

This tiny monarch caterpillar is no more than half an inch long.

I thought at first that the tiny caterpillar was dead and somehow stuck in place on the leaf.  But as I gently touched it to see, it slowly moved its antennae. I picked it up to move it from the Asclepias syriaca, which only had a few yellowing leaves at the top, over to the greener Asclepias curassavica, so it would have more to eat.


I held it in my hand and it slowly crept around my palm. Gently, I placed it on a leaf where it curled up for moment and then crawled to the underneath side. It's virtually impossible for it to grow large enough to pupate, metamorphose, eclose, and then fly to Mexico for the winter. And even if it would live long enough to complete its life cycle and become a butterfly, it's too late for it to escape our cold temperatures.


Briefly, I entertained the thought of the possibility of taking some milkweed plants into the greenhouse, along with the caterpillar so that it at least might have a chance. I even wondered if a monarch butterfly could spend the winter in a 50-degree greenhouse.  The odds are overwhelming that it could be possible.

Sadly, this little guy will likely live out his last days right here in my garden. It seems that even some of nature is dragging its feet about the approaching winter, just like I am.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bumper Crop of Shriveled Blackberries


This year's blackberry crop was really looking good there for awhile. It appeared as though we would have a bumper crop. We planted six of them a couple of years ago - 3 'Chester' and 3 'Triple Crown'. We had a nice round of plump berries last year. In September and October.


Clearly, things are different this year.We started out with lots of blooms. Early. Then there were the berries. Early. We tried to keep things watered in this nasty droughtish summer with its extreme and prolonged heat. Berries like plenty of water during berry formation. But apparently, we just couldn't keep up. Boo.

All the wonderful, loaded thornless canes now look like this:


It's sad and such a waste of berry potential. There are a few berries that have managed to plump up and be juicy and we're racing the birds to pluck them. (Yes, we have nets, but there aren't enough berries to bother with them.) 

Better luck next year.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Strawberry Bed Redo


Back when I became a "real" gardener in 2005, we planted some strawberries. I love strawberries - they're one of my very favorite fruits - but I didn't really know much about growing them. I went to the local garden center and asked which berry would be the best. The owner advised me to plant 'Honeoye', a June-bearing strawberry.

We didn't get any berries that first year, but we enjoyed them for many years after. I learned more about strawberries as time went on, and after a few years I rejuvenated the berry patch by tearing out the old mother plants and replanting the baby runners. Last fall, I knew that it was time to do this again, but this time I wanted a different berry.

Last year, as part of a fun contest sponsored by P. Allen Smith's Garden2Blog event and Corona Tools (who provided a free trowel for planting), we were sent three 'Tribute' strawberry plants from Stark Bro's to grow. The goal was to see how creative we could be in growing them in a small space and to see how many berries we could harvest.

I planted my three plants in the bottom of a wire mesh kitchen organizer, along with a red-blooming begonia. It was a fun activity and though I didn't win the big prize of an iPad, I do consider myself a winner. I found a wonderful new strawberry!



So this year, we created an entirely new raised bed, where we planted 50 'Tribute' strawberry plants that I purchased from Stark Bro's. We put it in full sun, layering sand, compost, and soil (in that order, bottom to top), then top-dressing with more compost and a bit of organic fertilizer (Jobe's Organics Fruit & Citrus Granular Fertilizer) sprinkled between the rows. It's been a week now and all but one of the 50 plants is putting on new growth. That's a pretty impressive success rate, I'd say.

Just after planting. The large plant in the corner is last year's plant.


'Tribute' is a day-neutral strawberry, meaning it's not dependent on a number of daylight hours like the June-bearing plants are. Day-neutral strawberries will continue to produce berries for most of the summer. Everbearing plants are yet a third type, and these will produce two or three times throughout the season. Neither everbearing nor day-neutral plants send out many runners, so they're usually better for confined or small spaces.



I've already enjoyed several berries from last year's plant and the taste is very sweet, even having a bit of a wild strawberry taste to me. The berries aren't gigantic like some of the June-bearing berries are, but my experience has been that the largest berries don't always have the best taste anyway.

Strawberries are pretty easy to grow, thriving in sandy to loamy soil with a neutral-to-slightly alkaline soil in zones 3-9 (generally). They require 1-2 inches of water during fruit production and a strawberry bed will have a good productive life for about three to five years. When production slows, you'll know it's time to rejuvenate your strawberry bed and plant new.


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*I received a bag of Jobe's Organics Fruit & Citrus Granular Fertilizer free of charge from Easy Gardener.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meyer Lemon in the Making


It was a little over a year ago that I made a trip to Toledo with the specific intent of purchasing a Meyer lemon tree (Citrus x meyeri 'Improved'). Because I made a silly assumption, that trip didn't have the ending I anticipated. You know what they say about assuming.

However, being a good sport, I had a good laugh over it all and the opportunity to purchase a decent-sized Meyer lemon plant came several months later. And now I find myself with two in my living room. One of them isn't mine; it's my mom's and I'm keeping it over the winter for her. She thinks she's getting it back come spring.

See the sleeping kitty?

12 August 2011
Hers is more than twice the size of mine and it's bloomed more than twice as much as mine. But mine has a lemon on it! It was a bitty thing when I bought the plant in August. It's now full-sized and has begun to ripen. It takes a long time to make a lemon! I estimate that it will be fully ripe and yellow tinged with orange sometime in March.

Just beginning to turn yellow...


The Meyer lemon is the result of a cross between a traditional lemon and either a mandarin or common orange and because of this, it's sweeter than a traditional lemon. It's Chinese in origin and was introduced in the United States in 1908. Its use by chef Alice Waters and Martha Stewart are thought to be responsible for its rise in popularity.

Meyer lemon bloom

The Meyer lemons we grow today are actually 'Improved' Meyer lemons. Many of the original plants were found to carry a virus in the 1940s and most were destroyed so that they didn't infect other citrus fruit trees. In the 1950s, a virus-free version was found and in 1975, the 'Improved' Meyer lemon was introduced for sale.¹

I read a fun book earlier this winter called Paradise Under Glass by Ruth Kassinger, which I reviewed here. I learned that conservatories and greenhouses got their start as "orangeries" - a place for gardeners to keep their citrus trees in the winter in colder climates. When glass became available in larger sizes, this allowed it to be used in the construction of elaborate buildings, with the first ones being built in Italy in the 16th century.

The first known orangery in the U.S. was thought to be in Annapolis, Maryland, when it was discovered during excavation of Calvert House, once home to the governors of that state. It was about 10 feet square and estimated to have been constructed around 1770. What remains of it can be seen today through a glass floor at Governor Calvert House, a luxury hotel on the original site.²

A more detailed history of orangeries can be found here.

An early Dutch orangerie (1779)                    (Wikimedia)   


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¹Wikipedia,  Meyer lemon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meyer_lemon
²Richmond Oak Conservatories Ltd., Orangeries - A History of the Orangery: http://www.oakconservatories.co.uk/orangeries.htm



Friday, November 18, 2011

A Day With a Friend


Yesterday, my good friend Shelley and I spent a long overdue day together. One of the day's activities was a visit to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne, Ind., a place I count on to give me brief respites from the winter each year. Thursday was a cold and blustery day, but it was pleasant in the rooms of the conservatory.

I'd never visited the conservatory at night before. Each Thursday, they're open until 8:00 PM and since it gets dark around 5:30 now, our late visit meant anything we saw was going to be illuminated by artificial means. I soon discovered that the various lighting methods would present a challenge for photographing anything. Since I'd been to the conservatory many times during the day and had the opportunity to photograph the plants in natural lighting, I decided to use different eyes and see what the camera would capture for me.

They were decorating for Christmas while we were there and the first room was pretty sparse yet. The theme this year is "The Night Before Christmas" and I've no doubt when all the decorations and plants are in place, it will be charming. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see that last night, since they'd only just started putting things in place and the official start of the Christmas display isn't until Saturday, the 19th.


The main reason I wanted to go to the conservatory was because I'd read about the new Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) they'd brought in a couple of weeks prior. There were three of them, of various sizes and age. Removal of roof panels and a street closing for the crane that was necessary for the move made the actual acquisition a big deal.

The largest of the three weighs approximately 1850 pounds and is impressive when you're standing next to it. I've not seen any in their natural desert habitat, so I'm glad to have this opportunity to see them up close and personal - not that anyone would really want to get too close. Pricklies, you know.

Saguaro cacti, found only in the Sonoran Desert, can live to be150-200 years old and can grow to 45 feet in height. While not currently a threatened or endangered species, they are protected in both the U.S. and Mexico. The Conservatory is one of approximately 79 Plant Rescue Centers for CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in the U.S.







My favorite room in the Conservatory is the middle one - the rain forest - with its tropicals and a waterfall.




I didn't take note of which plant this purple bloom belonged to, but I don't
recall ever seeing it in bloom on previous visits.










Orange and pomegranate fruits were ripening on the trees.

Pomegranate

Common orange

We wrapped up the day with a live concert right next door at the historic Embassy Theater. Favorites of both of us, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith were performing as part of their 2 Friends Tour. Shelley and I had first seen both Amy and Michael together some 25 years ago.





 Friends
©1983

Words: Deborah D. Smith
Music: Michael W. Smith

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

With the faith and love God's given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you'll live in
Is the strength that now you show

But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.




Saturday, September 3, 2011

Making Grape Jelly


It's that time of year again and I'm in the kitchen, making grape jelly. I've only done this one time before. It was in 2007, when we discovered wild grapes growing along Cunningham's Ditch behind our house. But we have our own grape vines now - six of them, all seedless varieties. There's Himrod, Reliance, and Mars, with the purple Mars being the biggest producer of the three.

One of the most popular of all my blog posts over the years has been the one where I explained how I made the grape jelly, so since it's once again grape jelly time, I'm republishing that post. It was this experience that led to us growing our own grapes and now the jelly will be from those grapes. By the way, ours are seedless, making things a little bit easier for this go-round.


Previously published on Our Little Acre on October 2, 2007


Wild Grape Jelly is 50 Years in the Making

It doesn't matter how old you are or how old you get, it's a big wide world out there and there will never be a shortage of new opportunities for learning. Ain't it great?Earlier this year, Romie and I discovered wild grapes growing behind Our Little Acre, along Cunningham's Ditch. We'd lived here for 30 years and walked that path countless times, but until this summer we had no idea the grapes were there. I'd never even seen wild grapes growing before in my life and was thrilled with the find.

I returned to the treasure trove of vines hanging heavy with grape clusters and cut some. Those grapes were going to become jelly in my hands, though I'd never made that before either. I searched online for recipes for wild grape jelly and found some. They were all similar, but I chose one of the simplest. All I needed was grapes, water, sugar and pectin.

Pectin is a natural gelling agent found in terrestrial plants and is sold here under the Certo brand. It comes in powder form or liquid.
Romie sometimes calls me while he's eating his lunch, so the next day as I was talking to him, I asked him to stop at the grocery before he came home and get some of that pectin stuff. He knows his way around the grocery store, but had no idea where to find the pectin. My guess would have been by the Jell-O, but I was wrong. It was with the spices.

The first thing I had to do was take all those tiny grapes off their stems. This job reminded me of shelling peas. It takes forever and a day of cleaning those before you get enough to feed two people one time.
So now I had everything ready to go, but all that de-stemming wore me out. Okay, so it didn't, but I was sick of messing with grapes, so with blue hands, I put them back in the refrigerator until later.

Later turned out to be six weeks later. I'm not kidding. They don't call me The Queen of Procrastination for nothing. I don't know what was the impetus for deciding that last night was going to be when I finally made the jelly - maybe even I got sick of seeing them stare at me every time I opened the refrigerator door. Romie had long ago quit asking me when I was going to make it and I'm sure he thought it wasn't going to happen at all and the grapes were going to go the way of most cucumbers that I buy. (I don't even take cucumbers out of the plastic weighing bag I bring them home in. That way, they're easier to dispose of when they spoil.)But ha! I did make the jelly. Last night. And it was easy! I weighed the grapes to see just how many I had and if I needed to adjust the recipe. I had a pound and three-quarters and the recipe called for three pounds, so before I started, I refigured how much I needed of everything else.
The recipe said to mash the grapes with a potato masher. I'd gotten one as a shower gift when I got married in 1975 and probably have used it just a handful of times. It's amazing that I even knew where to find it. My girls probably don't even know what a potato masher is. Actually, mine has "Pastry Blender" imprinted on it, because that's what it is, but it works for mashing potatoes, too. And crushing grapes.



Next step was to add water to the crushed grape mess, bring them to a boil, then cover and simmer for ten minutes.






Once that was done, I had to strain and drain them. I was supposed to use cheesecloth for this and I didn't have cheesecloth, but an old clean handkerchief worked very well. I let them drain through that, then I gathered the handkerchief up and squeezed out as much liquid as I could. The recipe said I could just let it drain through the cloth overnight, but I knew what could happen if I didn't finish the jelly now. You know, too.

I was really surprised at the amount of liquid I had when I got done with this part. Those grapes must have been really juicy, even after sitting in the refrigerator for over a month, because when I measured what I had, it very nearly was the amount needed to use the full amount of sugar and pectin that the recipe originally called for. That wasn't supposed to happen, but I wasn't complaining. It must be beginner's luck.
I added the sugar - a LOT of it - to the grape juice and brought it to a boil. Then I added the Certo liquid pectin and boiled it hard for one minute. It was really smelling good now and I was tempted to taste it but resisted. It reminded me of the black raspberry syrup on my sundaes I used to get at the Cow Cow Corner on US 127 just outside of Haviland when Romie and I were dating.

I skimmed off some of the foam that had formed on the top of the hot mixture, then started pouring it into the jelly jars. I ended up with nearly three pints of jelly! By the time I finished, it was almost midnight and Romie had long ago gone to bed because he has to get up pretty early for work. I would have liked to have seen the look on his face this morning when he saw those jelly jars lined up on the stove, cooling.

All that's left now is to see how it tastes. One of my favorite things is peanut butter, honey and jelly sandwiches and I'm going to go make one now. I'll get back to you later with a taste report and the recipe I used (if it's good), just in case you ever want to make wild grape jelly.

It only took me fifty years to get around to it.



Wild Grape Jelly

3 lbs. wild grapes, stemmed
3 cups water
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 (85 ml) package liquid pectin


In large saucepan, crush grapes with potato masher; pour in water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until fruit is very soft. Transfer to jelly bag or colander lined with a double thickness of fine cheesecloth and let drip overnight.


Measure juice (you should have 3 cups/750 ml) into a large heavy saucepan; stir in sugar. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to full boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace.


Oops! I forgot a step...


Enjoy!



Friday, August 5, 2011

You Don't Need An Acre to Grow Strawberries!


Here at Our Little Acre, we've grown strawberries in a patch in the garden for many years. It's one of my favorite fruits and I love to be able to just go to the garden in June and eat my way through the patch. But what if we didn't have an acre on which to grow them? Just how much space does one really need to grow strawberries, or any number of other edibles, for that matter?

Following the visit to P. Allen Smith's farm earlier this year, Chris Sabbarese from Corona Tools issued a challenge to the attendees. We were sent three 'Tribute' strawberry plants from Stark Bro's and were to come up with a creative way to grow them in a small space. Called "Strawberry Fields for Everyone," it was a contest and there would be a prize awarded to the gardener who tallied the most points, based on production, creativity, and whomever garnered the most comments and questions on our blog in regard to our method of growing.

When I received my berry plants, I immediately planted them up in a plain old clay pot until I could get the container I wanted, which would grow the strawberries in very little space. Before I could get the plants transferred to it though, one plant died. That one never really took off and grew like the other two, and I messaged Chris to say that I was already out of the contest. He said, "Not so fast...share your idea anyway."

But winning the contest isn't really the point, is it? Showing various ways in which gardeners can grow things that they don't think they have enough room for is a way of sharing and encouraging others - something that gardeners are known for and that bloggers have an opportunity to do every time they publish a post. And just think of how much tastier and healthier it would be if we could all grow even a little bit of our own food!

So here is my idea, in which I used an item some of you might already have, embellished with things I already had, and which takes up only a small amount of air space:



To do this yourself, you'll need:

  • a tiered fruit basket (don't forget to check the thrift stores!)
  • a package of dried sheet moss to line the baskets (coir will work, too)
  • ribbon or cord in the color of your choice
  • decorative beads

I got my tiered baskets at Sur La Table for $10, on sale. The silver mesh ones would work well too and are equally inexpensive. Sheet moss can be found at stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and Walmart and a package sells for around three dollars. The decorative beads were some that I had laying around, but they can be purchased inexpensively in the craft section of stores such as the ones I mentioned.

My first idea was to use ribbon to weave into the chains the baskets hang from, but then I remembered all the unused macrame cord that has been in a box in the basement for oh, let's see...30 years? (Don't say a word - I know you have skeletons in your closets, too.) The great thing about using the macrame cord is that this particular cord is appropriate for inside or outside use and is fade and rot resistant. I'll be able to re-use this planter for many years to come.

After weaving the cord through the chains, I left a foot of it hanging below, to which I attached glass beads. The beads look especially pretty when the sun shines on them.

Since we were only given three plants, I put those in the bottom basket and filled the other two baskets with other plants and a glass ball. I chose an angel-wing begonia because it flowers non-stop in a bright red, later adding Snow Princess® Lobularia by Proven Winners, another great performer. (In these photos, the Lobularia is new and hasn't yet matured into the drift of tiny white flowers for which it's known.) I used a general potting soil for planting.



In the top basket, I placed a glass ball that I had floating in one of our little ponds in the garden. It coordinates nicely with both the glass beads on the cord, as well as providing a beautiful look when the sun shines through it. By using this as well as the red cord, the red-flowering begonias, and the red beads, they compliment the deep green foliage of the strawberry plants and provide color even when they aren't fruiting or blooming.

This hasn't been the best year for growing anything in my part of the country except maybe cacti, but I've got a few berries coming on now and the two plants are now FOUR!

'Tribute' is a day-neutral berry, meaning it will produce fruit for most of the summer, unlike the June-bearing ones that many of us are familiar with. Hung in a sunny window or outside, the three baskets would hold enough strawberry plants to provide enough berries for numerous servings throughout the season.

If you like my idea and would like to help me win the prize (which just happens to be an iPad2!), please leave a comment here and let me know what you think. Have you done something similar? Do you have an idea for growing edibles in small spaces that you'd like to share? I know I said earlier that it wasn't really about the contest, but who wouldn't want to win an iPad??

Look who likes hanging out in the strawberries! Yay for natural pest control!


UPDATE!

The first ripe strawberry was picked today, August 10th. Yum! Very juicy and very sweet!


There are several more in various stages of growth. I might end up with
enough to put atop some shortcake!




For more information about the "Strawberry Fields for Everyone" project, please visit Corona Tools' site dedicated to the project.



The three strawberry plants were provided to all entrants by Stark Bro's, and Corona Tools sent a trowel to help with the planting.






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