In our area, this has been an ideal strawberry year. South of us, I am told there was too much rain, and the berries tended to rot. Here, as you might have read in one of my previous posts, the garden produced a lot of strawberries, and it is not yet over. Inspired by reading about wild strawberries in other blogs, I thought I should check how our own in the field next to the house were doing. Just like we have of the cultivated ones, we seem to be having a bumper crop of wild strawberries.
|The field where the wild strawberries grow|
Picking wild strawberries is a job for the retired or those who have a lot of free time. The bowl pictured below took about two hours to fill. It would have taken more time than that in a usual year. They are very small. The ones out of the bowl are the biggest I found. It was a beautiful day, and after lunch I set out for the field with my bowl, my camera, in case I saw something worth recording, and of course my can of bear spray in case of a close encounter with Ruthie, the local black bear who also loves strawberries. I did not meet her, but I was careful to whistle, sing or make noise one way or an other all the time I was out there.
I used to pick wild strawberries at my grandfather's when I was a child. This was serious picking. We would be a group of children and one or two adults, and each had a small container which she/he emptied in a big bucket. All these strawberries went into jam making.
I also made jam with mine as these small berries make a jam that simply does not compare with any made with big fruits. Even the weather reminded me of my childhood as it was very sunny, but cool, just like in the Chic-Chocs Mountains (part of the Appalachians in Canada) where my grandfather's farm was.
Each summer I make different kinds of jam, especially from black currants. But the few pots of wild strawberries are put aside. These are reserved for special occasions or for special gifts.
|The end result!|
Very skilled! Looks delicious. Raspberries were the thing in our family. Raspberry jam always reminds me of my grandmother.ReplyDelete
We did not have wild strawberries in our fields, but a fair amount of blackberry bushes. No one sent us to pick them; some urge overtook us on hot summer afternoons to take a container and go get ourselves scratched up from all the thorns so we could ask our mothers to make jam.ReplyDelete
I remember picking wild strawberries with my grandmother up around Round Lake near Wilno. The best part was eating her preserves as a desert. They used to pick berries for days and it sounded exactly like the way you did with your grandmother. She use to simply boil them in a bit of lightly sugared water and preserve them. It was not a jam, simply canned berries like canned pears.ReplyDelete
Those were the best of times.
At least growing them on our own plot in the UK means no clash with Ruthie.ReplyDelete
Ruthie does all she can to avoid you. Still, you don't want to meet her. I have twice over the years and both times each of us ran away in opposite directions!ReplyDelete