Sadly another strawberry season is over here at Quiet Creek. Happy to say though that there's always next year (as all true farmers say!). I've been growing Kent strawberries from Vesey's for years and my little patch never disappoints. Every three years I replace the plants with new shoots as early in spring as the frozen ground will allow. I've tried squeaking out four years but have found that three years is the best, with peak production in both quantity and size at year two. Once established all the pretty little plants require is water once a week. I do fertilize each spring with Miracle Grow and leave only the biggest, strongest runners to grow during the summer. Other than that though, they are fairly maintenance free.
This year my berries were much smaller due mostly to a massive hailstorm (tennis ball size if you can believe it!) that shredded the little plants late last July. I was unsure what kind of crop I’d get but was pleasantly surprised! These tough little plants bounced back and produced many bowls full. We all had our fill of fresh berries and on my birthday (I won't disclose how old I am but let's just say 39 and holding!) we enjoyed my very favourite cake - angel food with strawberries and whipped cream. Yum! I honestly can’t find the words to adequately describe how sweet and juicy these farm fresh berries are...They absolutely just burst with flavour!
There were also enough berries to make several batches of Strawberry Freezer Jam. Nothing beats the fresh taste of freezer jam...especially in January! My Mom faithfully made jam each year when I was growing up (still working on that at times!). I've followed the tradition and have now passed that on to my daughter Amanda. We've always used the simple recipe on the Certo box and have never been disappointed!
No matter how you slice it, fresh jam on toast is a real treat! And it's even better when you've experienced the simple pleasure of bringing your own strawberries from farm to table!