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Strawberries for my Birthday

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This morning I woke up on the green side of the earth rather than the under side……That was a good thing and made even better with a handful of fresh picked strawberries – <strong>Yee Haw</strong> – the strawberry harvest has started. I picked a nice handful of red, ripe, sweet berries. Once in hand the self-talk started. Should I share them? Should I eat every one of them before I get into the house? A bit of a dilemma for me.

I didn’t share-(sorry Kathy) and I didn’t eat every one of them. The very best berries found their way into my mouth and several others started the frozen package being accumulated for the jam making later this spring. There is something so very special about berries picked at the peak of their flavor. That first berry I bit into caused a wonderful flood of true strawberry flavor and my mouth was overjoyed.

A handful of Birthday Berries for me!

A handful of Birthday Berries for me!

A healthy berry bed....more berries on the way!

A healthy berry bed….more berries on the way!

While wandering through the garden on this beautiful birthday morning I found a few early stalks of asparagus….Not enough to save for anyone other than the birthday boy. If you have never had asparagus picked and savored the freshest, you are missing the sweetness that is missing from commercially farmed and shipped from who knows where asparagus.

My lemon tree is showing signs of blossoming soon. I can’t think of a flower blossom that is any more intoxicating than that of citrus. It is amazing how some scents and aromas can cause flashback memories. When my lemon tree blooms I am always transported to a late night motorcycle ride from UCLA down Sunset Blvd., to Will Rogers beach. That cool night ride took us through what used to be extensive citrus orchards before the land was converted to homes and estates. Fortunately many of the home owners kept the citrus trees, helping to fill the air the night with that intoxicating citrus blossom scent…..I said <strong>intoxicating</strong> before didn’t I! Let me dive into the Thesaurus! Intoxicating is a good word for the scent filled night air but…..there could be a stronger word or something better able to convey the sweet olfactory assault that created the enduring memory!

How about “enthralling” – no, doesn’t capture the feeling/memory/brain recalled sensation. “stimulating” – not quite strong enough either. “Enchanting” – close. “ Exhilarating” – needs a little more to meet up with the sensations and emotions connected to the sensory memory . I’ll have to wave the white flag and give up on finding the perfect word….I will take any suggestions – English majors preferred! Just trust me…..it was an amazing memory.

The garden is shaping up nicely; onions, strawberries, snap peas, asparagus, beets, turnips and yes, tomatoes are in the ground and putting down roots. I’m another day older and the garden is entering the new growing season….It may sound trite but I feel renewed….not older – just entering a new phase…. TTFN Bishop

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Birthday Week Gardening

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The week started of wonderfully….the day was spent with family, except for the absence of son Benjamin – away at school. Also included in the great start were our best friends, John and Beverly – also part of many of my postings. We had a great evening at the Houston Rodeo and I loved walking through the Ag exhibits in the Reliant Center…. dream on Bishop!

The rains of last week have saturated the soils and and have lead to many of my “in ground” strawberries becoming soft and beginning to mold. I hate to see them go this route as I would much rather share them or get some into the freezer bag for a jam making event later this spring. All is not lost…. the bad berries wind up in my compost pile where they will continue decomposing and providing some good stuff for the berry patch next year. My strawberry towers seem to be free of the maladies hitting those on the ground….For whatever reasons the berries in the 3″ towers seem to be a little smaller….The 4 inch towers have great looking plants and have not yet begun to flower….maybe a different variety due to my poor attention to details like logging what went where!

Monday I went out and pulled up some carrots, both orange and a lone white variety. As I approached the backdoor I was met by my daughter Ashleigh who halted my entrance to the house….apparently the family members present had a little surprise for me. I had to close my eyes and was lead into the kitchen. I tried to put the carrots down but Ash wouldn’t let me…..she said keep them in your hand as they are so YOU!.

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Three tiny donuts and fortunately 58 candles short of the needed - carrots in hand...the choice? I did eat the doughnut. A little sweeter than the fresh picked carrots

An update on the activities in the garden,,,,The potatoes in the cages are growing like crazy. They are the healthiest looking plants that I have ever grown. The taters in the big Rubbermaid bin are also looking good. Asparagus is taking off and should be shooting up all across the bed in the next week. Temperatures will be more conducive to the asparagus’s liking. I added some heirloom watermelon radishes – really cool looking from the catalog photos. Radishes are for more than just salads….check out this month’s edition of “Mother Earth News” for recipes. I will try the pickled Water Melon Radishes.

John has another round of Edamame in the ground as does my garden. I have planted two types of slicing cucumbers and two varieties of pole beans. I will try a purple variety of beans for grins this year. I threw some bush bean seeds into the potato cages and bin. Supposedly they help repel the beetles that love “tater” plants.

Kathy Hun…. I picked some ugly and misshapen strawberries this morning for my jam making. I want you to have only the best to eat fresh! I harvested the worm castings or “poop” from the bin and thoroughly washed my hands before picking them…….trust me! The Meyer Lemon tree is in full blossom and the scent in the air is heavenly! It looks like it will be loaded to the max like last year!

TTFN

Bishop

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