It's been a month now since we spent a wonderful few days in the field planting strawberries. Wonderful as planting is one of our favourite aspects of berry growing. Second only to eating berries.
The planting process involves a few of us, one tractor, a lot of plastic, a few large boxes of strawberry plants that were stored in our fridge until planting day, wooden sticks, a couple of shovels and the chickens. Yes, the hens get in the way and they are lucky to be alive what with their thinking the best bugs are always underneath the tractor tires. The hens love the planting too because hilling dirt means uncovering bugs. Hopefully they selectively choose to eat the pesty bugs that would otherwise eat the berries and not the beneficial bugs we want sticking around. We pretty much can't tell a good bug from a bad one. I don't suppose hens can either.
Laying down the plastic is a bit finnicky/frustrating because we apparently have the wrong size tractor for the plastic laying down implement. Gilbert and I spend hours on our stomachs across a metal bar, on the plastic laying down implement, with our faces a couple feet off the dirt trying to alter what the too big tractor is doing. If ever there was competition between a 10 year old boy and his mother, this is it. Who will mess up the messed up system even more? But when all is said and done, we've turned our field into a plastic-lover's paradise that will eventually grow amazing amounts of strawberries! And they are growing because it's June 10th and we've been snacking on a strawberries for a week. There's just enough for four scavenging kids but the berry future is looking bright red at this point.
Here are a few pictures of the process. No pictures of us actually planting. Because of course our fingers are dirty. Too dirty to hold a fancy camera.
And to end, last year's plants blooming away mid-spring. Bring on the red!