Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gardening Part 2 - Strawberry Security

We have attempted a harvest of strawberries for several years now, but every year without fail the sweet birds {gnashing of teeth} have beat us to each and every ripe delicious morsel.  SO...this year we got smart and brought in some reinforcements.  We knew if we wanted to really enjoy our strawberry patch we needed strawberry security.  We put our thinking caps on and The Principal designed a feathered friend proof enclosure that would allow God's good rain and sunshine in but keep those sweet little birds out!
Our strawberry patch is a permanent fixture built into one of our 4 square foot gardens, so all we had to do was give it a lid and we were ready for strawberry picking - fingers only - no beaks allowed.
Using some 2 x 2 pressure treated lumber, nylon mesh window screen and two 4 inch hinges our problem has been solved once and for all!  The Principal among his many talents has admirable carpentry skills and so a lovely spring afternoon, his skills and a few supplies produced this......
It is working out beautifully, sun and rain in, birds out!  To pick or fertilize The Principal installed a handle on the back side to easily lift the top and the hinges make getting it open for access easy peasy! 
We have been harvesting strawberries free of beak holes!  We have 2 types of plants and have a 2nd batch just starting to come in....yum.  
Here's a little Strawberry Trivia to wow your friends and family with while you enjoy some of the delicious treats that starwberry season brings...
Strawberry Trivia
  • The average strawberry has 200 seeds
  • More than 40 varieties of strawberries have been identified in the wild. Wild strawberries are fairly small in size and it wasn't until the 18th century that attempts to produce larger berries were sucessful.
  • 1 acre of land planted with strawberries will produce 50,000 pounds of fruit.
  • Fesh strawberries were once used as toothpaste as the juice cleaned discolored teeth.
  • There is a centuries old custom that if you break a double strawberry in half and share it with someone else they will fall in love.
  • Strawberries were once avoided by pregnant women because it was believed that their children would be born with 'strawberry' birth marks.
  • If all the strawberries produced in California in one year were laid berry to berry they would wrap around the world 15 times.
  • Strawberries are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside.
  • Strawberries have a long-dated history of medical uses, the Romans for instance used them to alleviate symptoms of fainting, kidney stones, inflammation, diseases of the blood, liver and spleen, throat infections, bad breath, attacks of gout, melancholy and fever.
  • In some places of Bavaria, country folk practice a spring ritual of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to wood elves. The legend states that the elves, who love strawberries, will offer their gratitude producing healthy calves and an abundance of milk
  • In Belgium there's a museum entirely dedicated to strawberries
  • Strawberries are grown in every state in the United States and every province of Canada.
  • The strawberry plant belongs to the same family of roses, genus Fragraria, together with other fruits such as apples and plums. The name of the genus comes from the Old Latin word for "fragrant". In modern Italian, the word for strawberry is still "fragola".
What is your favorite way to enjoy strawberry season?Wild strawberries are all fairly small in size, and it wasn't until the 18th century that attempts to produce strawberry plants with larger berries were successful

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