Sunday, May 24, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forever

By posting these photos, I stand in minor danger of turning this blog from a gardening blog into a dog blog, but I couldn't resist sharing these new pictures of Bella.  Mrs. ProfessorRoush took them with her iPad after she returned from helping me pick these strawberries, and slightly blurry as they may be, I thought they were adorable.   Look at those beagle-hungry eyes.  I think Bella would like a strawberry, don't you?

To deflect any criticism about yet another post reflecting the intense love between a gardener and his faithful companion, we will feebly pretend instead that this blog entry is about my triumph over the fickle scarlet-skinned god of the strawberry patch.  Because, really, that's what it is, a bragging post unmitigated by any trace of self-restraint, even while I know deep down that I'm depleting my gardening karma account and probably will soon be punished by a June freeze for my impudence.


Devoted readers of this blog know of my deep, life-long love for strawberries.  You've endured my epic, all-out campaign to get a strawberry patch through the August heat and drought, the bitter winters, and the late spring freezes that define Kansas gardening.  You have suffered through my purchase and erection of a shade house and my defensive measures and counterattacks against marauding deer.  You have bravely endured the whimpers and the whining and the woeful wailing against the cruelties of nature and the Kansas Flint Hills.  I have successfully spared you (till now) my agony during the past 3 weeks of cold, March-like temperatures and rains that have conspired to prolong ripening and increase rotting.

ProfessorRoush can publicly declare now that it has all been worth it, every drop of sweat, every aching muscle, every curse muttered in the general direction of the unsympathetic earth.   Mrs. ProfessorRoush, Bella, and I harvested 2 or 3 quarts of sweet strawberries over the last week or so, and last night we filled this bowl with another 4 or 5 quarts.  I'm sure there will be a few more quarts to come over the next week.  Not a grand harvest, but they exist and they made it to the reddened finish line.  And I accomplished it all through perseverance, labor, and sheer determination, not to mention the wad of cash I bestowed on the shade house manufacturer.   I refuse to calculate what a $1000 or so total divided by 10-15 quarts of strawberries works out to be on a per quart basis.  Not including, of course, my time and emotional trauma.

Whatever.  These are my strawberries, and, as Bella's twitching nose confirms, they are sweet and they are ripe and mouth-watering.   For one season, for one year, I have grown strawberries!


  1. Hurray for your strawberry growing endeavours !! They look gorgeous as, indeed, does Bella . Would she eat one given half a chance ? My two curl their lips, metaphorically, at anything fruity or veggie!!

    1. Bella will eat just about anything she sees me put in my mouth (must be the beagle in her!). Her favorites are cheetos, scrambled eggs, and toast with jam on it. She doesn't seem to like warm strawberries, but she always begs for frozen strawberries which I buy and eat often through the winter and spring. She eats peas, green beans, and corn if they hit the floor as well. I've made her swear off chocolate, however.

  2. All I'm asking for is a little sun! I was gone down south on a home visit for a week, but the other monks tell me its been nothing but rain and clouds here in Atchison. Our garden is in dire need of some sun and dry weather, not to mention all of our spirits!

    1. From your keyboard to God's ears, Brother! I refuse, after 3 years of sub-average rain in a region that gets precious little rain anyway, to complain about it raining, but it would be nice if it would pace itself a bit and save some for August.

  3. Mmmm... strawberries! Cam and I hope Bella got one; we LOVE fruit!
    And ... not that there's anything wrong with a dog-blog ... right? ;)
    Yours sincerely,

    1. I suppose not. But I'm afraid that unceasing drivel about my incredibly intelligent and loving Bella might get in the way of my garden writing and decrease my readership I'll try to keep it down to just occasional exuberance.


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