Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's Strawberry Season!



oh
yeah











These beauties are Plant City Strawberries from south of here. They were from a local fruit stand and even though their size is silly big, they were red all the way through and actually tasted like strawberries. What a great way to get your daily dose of red antioxidant nutrients.

Like other fruits, the strawberry harvest will move up the peninsula as the calendar progresses. Plant City is a big strawberry center with lots of farms. As their season begins to wane, the small town of Starke (up here in nawth Florida) will begin to come on line with their harvest.

Strawberries reproduce mostly by vegetative propagation. Essentially, the parent plant puts out runners that root where they touch the ground and produce new plants. These new plants are what you buy as bundles of strawberry "sets" at the feed store or nursery.

Eventually, the strawberry harvest will move beyond Florida and you snowbirds will be eating locally grown berries while ours are but a pleasant, distant memory.

In other "plants as prey" news, my carrots, mesclun mix, snow peas, spinach, and lettuce ( green ice and black seeded simpson) are all up and doing well. The collard transplants are only down by one (armadillo digging crushed it) and are getting bigger.

My blueberries have bloomed, but the earliest lost some blooms to a hard freeze about 10 days ago. That pretty apple blossom I posted a while back on the signs of spring post....frost killed.

Wild hog plums are aglow with white clouds of blossoms. Sparkleberry, redbuds, and jessamine are dressing up the woods.

On my black cherry trees, the tentworms showed up in tiny colonies about 4 days before the tender new black cherry leaves burst from their buds. Talk about timing your eggs!

Getting back to strawberries, I like 'em best just like in the picture...fresh and plain.

What's your favorite way to eat strawberries? Posted by Picasa

20 comments:

The MacBean Gene said...

I make a strawberry cheesecake that will make you holler "oh, mamma" and will fulfill your annual supply of fat and chloresterol. We get them up here in April or May and are they good.

roger said...

our strawberries are still under straw mulch, just barely sprouting new growth. we pick em and eat em before we even get in the house.

doubleknot said...

Once a year I treat myself to strawberries with lots of juice - have to add a little sugar - on angel food cake with lots of the creamy whipped cream from the cans. That's it. Seems to satisfy my craving for eating but I couldn't tell you how many strawberries I have picked and made into jam and jelly and frozen - whole and cut up. Just memories now but I would like to try my hand at just a few jars of jam again. If I can find any u-pick in our area any more.
Glad to hear your garden is doing well. Isn't it nice to see things start to grow. Too bad about the tent worms but I have taken a hose end sprayer and sprayed them out of some of my trees in the past.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Our fruit trees are still in the state of winter bare, although I do remember seeing some blossoms on a few trees in town. We like to eat our strawberries plain, warm and sweet in the sun. If they make it into the house, I like them sliced into granola with milk.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Crushed, sweetened and on shortcakes.

Hey, Cracker: Would you mind sending me your email? Some bloggers are giving "awards" for the best post of each month and you are my choice for February. I would like to explain it further, and give you the code for a "button" you might want to put on your site. My email is mbenditem@msn.com. Thanks. Gene Maudlin/Old Horsetail Snake

Floridacracker said...

Mac,
It's hard to beat real strawberry cheescake.

DPR,
The only time I grew them, we did the same thing.

Doubleknot,
Strawberry preserves...any berry preserve mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Those tentworms are on the wild cherry trees so I just let em be.

RD,
I love em on cereal too. My daughter likes to dip them in whip cream, but I don't think they need any help.


Hoss,
Thanks for thinking of me. I'm not as blogosphere savvy as you are so I don't have a clue as to what you are talking about, but will do on the email thingie.

Tim Rice said...

Ah, fresh strawberries! I can't wait for fresh ones up here but that's at least a couple months away. But I like my strawberries so many different ways - fresh from the plant, in smoothies, in my mom's delicious homemade strawberry pie, with my cereal, in freezer strawberry jam, and fresh with milk and a sour cream pound cake in a bowl.

Laura said...

I'm not picky, whatever tastes good, works for me! Come to think of it, I have a real good straweberry salad recipe, I think I'll post it this week.

I've never seen a blackcherry tree, got picts of one?

Boy, I really miss early spring in North Fla :(

pablo said...

I'm with Doubleknot. Juicy strawberries over angelfood cake is about as good as it gets, at least for Pablo.

Floridacracker said...

Tim,
What is freezer strawberry jam?

Laura,
I'll get black cherry pics...(Prunus serotina if you google before I get a pic up)

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
I can't taste angelfood cake...kind of like tofu only lighter on the tongue.
I'd have to go for pound cake.

Weary Hag said...

Wow do those look luscious! I like sliced strawberries (fresh only) on top of a piece of angel food cake with a little dab of reduced fat cool whip. I know, I'm no fun at all.

Hick said...

We were down in Lodi yesterday (by the way there is good reason Creedence Clearwater wrote about being stuck there) and they were selling strawberries along the road. They looked pretty good.

I like the cheesecake and angelfood cake thing...but I also like them with Balsamic Vinegar and sugar...and oh I love them dipped in sour cream and then dipped into brown sugar...and how about...I could go on.

Yep! I love strawberries.

Floridacracker said...

Weary,
Lite weight!

Hick,
Vinegar...even balsamic and strawberries????...is this like that fish taco thing?

cinbad122 said...

Hey..my plums haven't done anything yet!! No fair!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Strawberries and cream...Yummy..

Thunder Dave said...

Ok since I'm jusrt catching up on your posts, I'm still kind of stuck on the champagne thing. Anyway, here's another for you: Belini's. They are typically made with peaches, but strawberries work fine.
Take a few berries and run them through the blender, add about 1 or 2 tables spoons of this to a chanpagne glass and fill with you favorite champagne.

Likes2mtnbike said...

Anybody ever had strawberry pizza they serve at the field stores? My dad used to pick 'em up on the way through Plant City heading home to Brandon. Either a graham cracker crust or zwiebach toast crushed up with sugar. Over this cooled crust spread softened cream cheese and a little sour cream mixed with a tiny bit of vanilla and some brown sugar (or regular). Then spread on some strawberry "gelee" (just blend some up in a blender and boil it down until thickened---or just buy it). THEN: great big ol' strawberries sliced and laid all over the top. Heaven.
They still serve it at the stands in PC. Boy, do I miss my dad right about now.

Tim Rice said...

Freezer strawberry jam is a jam that one stores in the freezer until one is ready to use it. Actually, there are a number of links for freezer stawberry jams on the web. A couple of them are as follows:

http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/RECIPES/RECIPES/Basics/strawjam.html

http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,strawberry_freezer_jam,FF.html

http://www.thatsmyhome.com/general/no-cook-strawberry-jam.htm

It's delicious; you might want to try one of the recipes.

Hick said...

Ahem...fish tacos don't taste very good with strawberries.

Heh!

I forgot...my strawberries, balsamic vinegar and sugar recipe also includes black pepper. Doesn't sound too good, does it? But it is.