A Cook's Plot

In my Garden

The Strawberry Patch

A few years ago, I trialled a new strawberry called Everest for one of the online seed suppliers. They were going to be sold as ‘climbing strawberries’ and I rather liked the idea of having strawberries climbing the fence along my drive. That didn’t quite work out though - although they do grow very tall, they don’t exactly climb. What they do beautifully, though, is produce the most enormous, sweet strawberries (below) - and if you’ve ever said that strawberries don’t taste like they used to, these absolutely do!

I later relocated them to the brick raised bed outside the kitchen and they’ve been happy there ever since. In fact, they’ve multiplied so fast that they’re in danger of taking over the entire bed and I have to be careful to remove all the runners quickly at the end of the summer. I hate throwing them away though, so I did pot up a few last year and I’ve just planted those in a wall trough on a very sunny side wall so it will be interesting to see if they taste any different to the ones in the raised bed opposite them.

The funny thing about strawberries is that they look very sorry for themselves after the winter with only a few green leaves dotted among all the dead foliage and then suddenly, almost overnight, one morning you realise that they’ve sprung back to life and are a mass of green again, quickly followed by the white flowers. It wasn’t until I took this photo last night that I realised quite a lot of fruit has started to form already too. If we can just keep the warm weather we’ve had for the last day or two (and that we had at Easter), they should come on really fast. I’m hoping for a bumper harvest this year because last year, just after peak strawberry season was over, I got an electric dehydrator and, as there’s only one thing nicer than a fresh strawberry and that’s a dried strawberry, I can’t wait to start using it. More on that in another blog…

While we wait for the strawberries to be ready, here is a recipe to whet your appetite: https://a-cooks-plot.blogspot.com/2018/06/strawberry-ice-cream.html

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