Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's hard to feel stressed out in strawberry season.

So as aforementioned, I'm in the middle of getting ready to move on top of my usual full-time school semester right now. It's been a tad hectic, getting the old place cleaned up and cleared out of six years' worth of accumulated stuff. I'm doing well, though; just got the attic to finish going through, and I've got to find a home for some furniture yet.

It seems likely that I'll be living up at F's for a little while. It'll be nice because the garden will be literally in my back yard at that point, but it's been a long time since I've lived as a roommate. Still in all, I think it will be a good situation as long as we keep communication super-open, as she says. It'll be a good time for locavore blogging for certain, since it's out in a much more rural place and great for foraging.

My front garden is doing pretty well, albeit growing quite weedy. The spinach has all gone straight into bloom, which I think probably doesn't bode well. The lettuce looks gorgeous, though, and the carrots are growing steadily. I doubt there'll be anything to eat from them by the time I move in two weeks, but it was still interesting to grow them.

But elsewhere, it's strawberry season, which means that no matter how stressful life can be, you've got something delicious and good for you to eat if you just go get some. Last week Emma and I tore through two quarts of strawberries by Monday morning. Today we had all our kids, so we bought about six quarts.

The kids tore into the first quart - technically two pints from Kilpatrick - as soon as we'd bagged them as part of our CSA share. We picked up four quarts from another farm (because the price was lower than Kilpatrick's and because strawberries and asparagus were all he had to sell; his farming income is probably highly seasonal) and headed off to the car.

Most of the produce went in the back, but we made sure to keep the Kilpatrick berries and one quart of the other ones in the cab of the car, which is how we noticed the difference in taste. Kilpatrick's were $5 a pint to the other man's $6 a quart, but they were noticeably much sweeter. Of course the other guy's were still very very good, naturally much better than the California ones in the grocery store, and the difference in taste didn't stop us from polishing off the entire two quarts on the car ride home.

So this is how I came up with the idea of a starberry taste test. In AVM Barbara Kingsolver talks about her girls having taste tests of the different colors of Swiss chard. Now I can't see my kids doing that with chard, but strawberries they would do. I'm not at all sure we'll be able to do it - we're camping next week and will miss the market, and the week after is moving day for me - but if we can figure out how, I'm so in.

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