We raise giant strawberries from England in boxes made from logs. Purchased from Gurney’s, they produce in June and September.
It is a challenge to keep the does and their babies from feasting on them. Although I wouldn’t mind sharing with them, they take more than their share and walk in the beds. We have used bar soap in nylons, organic repellant, netting and row cover to save the strawberries from these predators. They each have their pros and cons.
Of course, there are slugs…everywhere. I do not drink alcohol but I have no problem with giving a pie plate full of beer to slugs!
And then there is that other predator: the weather. We just harvested the first ten pounds of strawberries despite the prevailing winter weather in the Northwest. It is June 26th and we are still ten degrees below normal. Who knows how much rain above normal! It has made the berries go moldy before they are ripe or turn mushy. I’ve come to the conclusion that hoop houses are the only way to go in the Northwest. No deer, no slugs, no rain, no insects. You can grow all year round. Although they are not as beautiful as sweeping rows of vegetables on hill, at least the produce survives and we can enjoy them throughout the year.
We pick strawberries fresh for “in the garden pleasure,” frozen for year round smoothies, dehydrated into fruit leather, cooked into jam, mixed with yogurt, tossed in salads, sliced on French toast, topped on whole grain mush, and my grandson’s favorite: dipped into chocolate and served at family parties.
Here is a delicious and nutritious smoothie recipe. Contains micronutrients and antioxidants. Great for diabetics.
4 oz sugar free almond milk
6 oz cold water
1/3 cup vanilla whey protein
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
Frozen strawberries or other berries
Add nuts if desired
Place all ingredients in blender and mix