Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Return Of Local Fruit

Besides cellared apples and the ginger applesauce Elise and I canned in December, I haven't had a lick of locally grown fruit in months. That's because there hasn't been any. Until now.

When I checked my new strawberry vines this morning, I was shocked to find that not one but three berries had deeply blushed overnight.

I bought the plants a few weeks ago, not really sure what was going to happen with them. Would I find time to replant? Would they even grow? And if they fruited, would I be able to stop myself from eating them all in one sitting? Surprisingly, the answers to those questions turned out to be no, absolutely, and yep.

I was only able to transfer three of the plants to real containers, leaving the rest to languish in the tiny seed tray in which they were purchased. But they didn't seem to mind being left in just two inches of dirt, as those few plants are now heavy with over a hundred berries.

Every time I try to grow a little something to nosh on I find it's that easy. In the case of these strawberries, really all I did was buy them. And when I eat something that I've grown, I still feel as proud as the day when, at the age of five, I sprouted my first few leaves of lettuce. This despite the fact that I gobbled them immediately, thereby killing the plants. But remember that arugula I tried to start in my bedroom last March?

In finishing an article on Shavuot (more soon), I recently learned that this Jewish holiday is also known as the "Festival of First Fruits." Amazingly, the holiday falls less than a week from the day my berries ripened. Guess we are good with numbers.

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