The harvest tray looks pretty good this week, doesn’t it? I have to say that garlic scapes, chive and scallion blossoms, spinach, lettuce, pea shoots, radicchio & escarole leaves, green plums, herbs, and flowers, are pretty satisfying to harvest and look at.
But did you see what else is in that tray? Only the most exciting part of the entire harvest. The first strawberries have ripened! These are alpine strawberries. Tiny, soft, sweet, and so aromatic!
There is only a handful and they are very small compared to the regular strawberries. The biggest in the bunch is less than 1 inch in diameter, and it was partially eaten by slugs. Why do they always find the best one?
Still, I’m very proud of them, especially the single red one. I grew it from seeds given to me by TG last year, as a Valentine’s Day gift.
The seeds came in a small packet inside a tiny terra-cotta pot that held a single peat pellet. Out of that packet, several tiny seedlings emerged. Now there are 2 big clumps of them out in the garden, and 1 small one in a pot. As you can see, more fruits are forming.
That’s why I didn’t mind when TG decided to swipe all of the ones we found this week. Moms always sacrifice, don’t they?
Too bad they don’t sell these alpine strawberries in the grocery stores. I wonder why? I don’t even find them in farmers’ markets. I would have bought them by the pounds! Maybe they’re too tender to transport; they’re so soft.
That’s the more reason why everybody should grow them. So easy, pretty much foolproof. Scatter seeds, wait about a year or so, and suddenly you’ve got the perfect topping for your pancakes! If you’re not convinced, ask TG. Poor thing asked for more, and I had no more to give. Next week, my dear, next week.
I’m planning to divide the bigger clumps to breed more plants. Unlike regular strawberries, these alpines don’t send out runners. I’m guessing you need to propagate by either dividing or sowing more seeds. A long row of them, edging the perennial bed, would turn the latter into what I’ve envisioned for it all along, an edible landscape. Plus, it would provide more than a handful strawberries at a time. I’m pretty sure TB and Sabo would also like them on their pancakes, too.
Hopefully they don’t have to wait too long. Besides the alpines, the regular strawberries are also currently loaded with ripening fruits, and it’s only their second season! I’m practically giddy with the prospect of future harvests.
More exciting harvests are going on right now, everywhere. Your safest bet is to go to Daphne’s Dandelions to check them out.