Back to the Garden Pt. 2 and Strawberry Picking!

It’s time for a much overdue garden update. I wanted to wait until everything – paths, beds, borders- was weeded, planted and looking fabulous, but that just wasn’t happening.

But I’m pleased with the progress made so far, considering where I was at phase zero.

Check it out, radishes are coming up.

And some rainbow chard is peeking out too.

All my seedlings failed this year because I didn’t replace my grow lights in a timely fashion, oops, so I had to buy pepper and tomato transplants.

I love tomato names, this one is Box Car Willie

Black cherry tomato, Marconi pepper and Box Car Willie

And I got some snazzy new gardening gloves :D

So after planting and weeding and watering, I met up with a friend to continue my agrarian adventures and go strawberry picking.  Growing up I went blueberry picking every summer with my mom, but we never did strawberries so I was looking forward to trying something new.

The day was really beautiful, not to hot, and it was nice and breezy. We drove to Butler’s Orchard about 25 minutes outside of DC and picked up a couple flats to hold our berries. I was ambitious and grabbed the flat that would hold 10 pounds of berries and we dove right into the strawberry patch.

If you don’t know anything about strawberry patches, I’ll tell you all you need to know and that is the plants grow about 1 foot off the ground.

Fast forward 5 minutes in and I loudly declare “God, I’m glad I’m not a migrant farm worker, this sucks.”

Sooo, ya. Picking berries is backbreaking, literally. Lower back pain aside, I had a lot of fun and with the help of my friend (who is a berry picking machine) I got 10 pounds of beautiful, shiny and sweet smelling berries.

You my pretty, will be made into jam

I think this posts begs the question, why would I seek out and actually enjoy picking my own berries?  I’m not Amish, isn’t that what grocery stores are for?

My friend and I actually chatted about this while we were out in the field, and I think she articulated it the best:

It feels good to work with your hands. To take ownership over something and actually see an immediate outcome. I love the physical effort of gardening, you actually feel connected to the food. I know this might sound crazy to many of my dear readers, and that’s ok.

Simply put, working with my hands, being active and then being creative with how I choose to cook the food that I’ve grown feels awesome. I sit behind a desk all day at a job that doesn’t really allow creative thinking.  This is the perfect outlet for me, and its why I love food, gardening and cooking so damn much.

(steps off soapbox)

Thank you.

Stay tuned for a post about how to make your own strawberry jam, step by step.

- Erin

Daily Question: Do you think knowing where your food came from matters?