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Wed May 27, 2015, 08:33 PM

First picking of "Mara Des Bois" strawberries

I planted 60 of these in a 5 feet by 12 feet raised bed on my driveway last spring. We got a few berries in late summer, but this is the first picking of any substance.
A quart of some of the most fragrant tasty strawberries is, umm, was, sitting in the kitchen. They are either shrinking rapidly or someone is grabbing a few each time they walk by (I suspect my wife and son). I was planning on eating them on a piece of lemon pound cake, but maybe the next quart will make it that far.
The berries are smaller than the ones from the grocer, but that is more than made up for in their delicate sweetness.
The bed they are growing in was inter-cropped with garlic and bush beans while the plants were developing and spreading last year, but this year they are growing so close together that it doesn't seem practical to plant companions with them, even though a few garlic seemed to have slipped past me last autumn.
I will most likely thin them to a plant every 6 inches this fall, and pass the ones I dig up on to friends.
A DHB recommended variety

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Reply First picking of "Mara Des Bois" strawberries (Original post)
DirtyHippyBastard May 2015 OP
elleng May 2015 #1
jtuck004 May 2015 #2
DirtyHippyBastard May 2015 #3
jtuck004 May 2015 #5
Erich Bloodaxe BSN May 2015 #4
GreatGazoo Jun 2015 #6
DirtyHippyBastard Jun 2015 #7

Response to DirtyHippyBastard (Original post)

Wed May 27, 2015, 08:39 PM

1. They look GREAT, DHB!

Got a pint a farm market today, working on them as I pass by. Will see how long they last, and will return to market 'til they're gone.

I do NOT buy them from grocery any longer, due to virtual lack of flavor of those 'beautiful' ones. It's the FLAVOR I'm interested in!

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Response to DirtyHippyBastard (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:14 AM

2. Nice. I have been experimenting with pulling various weeds, brewing a tea

 

with them and using that on some of my plants. The strawberries really like it. It is just starting to warm up in Eastern WA, so we have only had a couple of week of weather warm enough to really push things. Still, I pulled a couple of small strawberries off, and those with my onions, garlic, and other herbs are already hitting the table.

Is that a rolled out groundcover under the beds?

Thank you for that.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #2)

Thu May 28, 2015, 01:07 AM

3. Is that a rolled out groundcover under the beds?

The frame for the bed you see is sitting directly on a concrete driveway. The bed is 12 inches deep.
The secret to success for me has been that I am lucky to have a friend who supplies my soil. He owns a dormant sawmill that has 80 years worth of sawdust and wood chips rotting in huge piles. The stuff is light weight, well drained, and yet still holds moisture well. I add a few handfuls of blood meal, some bone meal, and a little dolomitic lime before I plant and everything seems to do well; so well in fact that I doubled my bed count this year. The new beds are actually on the ground though, as there is no more room on the driveway. I hate mowing grass for many many reasons, and this was one way to greatly reduce that, and supply a large portion of our produce for the year (a lot of canning goes on around here in the Fall).

and... weed tea? How do you get it to burn?

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Response to DirtyHippyBastard (Reply #3)

Fri May 29, 2015, 01:10 PM

5. The crabgrass here is amazing - I can't keep it out, just have to empty and refill a bed.

 

So I was wondering how that was so clean. ;

Yeah, the mmj REALLY likes this stuff. I grow indoors so I look for things to make my indoors more like outdoor. It also serves as a natural inoculatnt against powdery mildew. But I am using it outside, and the cabbage moths don't seem to be too fond of it either.

Your sawmill find is great.I have looked around for a free pile of leaf mold or something, still hunting. But now I am starting to range out a bit hunting useful weed stands, and I am going to try to add locations to a map so others can use them as well.

Nice garden, btw. Lots of work, I know.



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Response to DirtyHippyBastard (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 01:11 PM

4. Ours are just starting to come on, so I've only got a half pint or so so far.

But I also just ate the first cherry off the tree and picked a few cherries off the bush cherry. The bush ones are tart, so they'll be used with sugar in one way or another. Not a lot of slug damage so far this year, and the birds have only gotten a couple, but the beagles have taken to treating the strawberry beds as a self-serve bar.

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Response to DirtyHippyBastard (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 08:47 PM

6. They look delicious

makes me want to chill them and then pour melted dark chocolate over them

or simply put them in a bowl with melted vanilla ice cream.

I'm on a shared farm this year and not sure what varieties are there but I hope they have some of those!

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Response to DirtyHippyBastard (Original post)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 01:04 AM

7. The third and forth quarts

are destined for jelly jars. I forgot I had put a few pineberry plants in the bed, and discovering them was fun, but only a handful of those made it into the pot. And, yes, these are real, ripe, and have a little pineapple-ness added to the usual strawberry's flavor. I think a jar of jam made from just the pineberries would be interesting.
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