Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Return of Local Fruit

In New England we're now safely into strawberry season, and I know this because I've been eating a few out of the garden every day. Finally, we can all stop pretending that rhubarb is fruit.

In this part of the world, the strawberry heralds the return of fresh, local fruit and produce in general. Some of us do eat locally grown fruit throughout the winter, thanks to canning, drying, freezing and stockpiling apples, but there's nothing like the taste of some fructose picked at its peak.

The rest of my meager but satisfying kitchen garden is also coming along. The old fence we filled with our landlord's (horses') manure has held up well, and we've got two of the beds pictured above. To the strawberries, sorrel and garlic that survived the winter, we've added cilantro, spinach, lemon cucumbers, broccoli, broccoli rabe, zephyr squash, arugula and romaine. There are a few spaces left that I'd love to fill with ground cherries or tomatillos.

We've also added several herbs on the notion that perennial herbs in containers are the most non-committal form of kitchen gardening. These include anise hyssop, lemon thyme, lavender, sage, rosemary, and eucalyptus. I look forward to making a tisane from one leaf of each.

There are also a handful of wild edibles around the yard that I plan to start chowing down on in earnest as soon as I test to make sure that the soil isn't too leaden. The most exciting of these are the blackberries that each of these white blossoms will hopefully turn into.

I think of gardening as an extremely low stakes game of chance with an incredibly high payoff (if something that is low stakes can also have a high payoff). The worst case scenario is that you lose a few bucks while still having gotten exercise, time outside, and that ineffable sense of joy that comes from planting something you, or rabbits and squirrels, can eat.

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Michelle said...

Ah, the rental house wild blackberries. They grew all along the driveway in our old rental, and that is what we still miss most about living there.

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