Dateline: 22 June 2013
|This photo, taken a few minutes ago, is now my screensaver picture!|
Today I picked the first strawberries of this year from my garden. None of them were small. I'm sure some of the future berries I pick will be small, but these first ones are remarkably large, as the picture above shows. And there are plenty of large ones now ripening.
I've grown strawberries in years past, and I've grown large strawberries in years past, but I've never had strawberry plants with so many berry clusters and so many large berries on them.
What is different is not the variety of berries I am growing. Fact is, I don't remember the variety. What is different is that I grew these berries from plants that I transplanted last summer, and I employed E.P. Roe's single-plant system in growing them. I also grew them using a hugelkultur experiment of my own devising.
E.P. Roe lived from 1838 to 1888. He was the preeminent berryman of his day. E.P. Roe knew strawberries. He knew how to grow strawberries of the largest and finest quality. Those berries in the picture above are proof that E.P. Roe's single-plant system works.
In The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners (my just-published book) I present E.P. Roe's system, in his own words, though edited by me for the modern reader. The book also gives E.P. Roe's advice on summer planting of berries. And another chapter explains my hugelkultur idea.
If you have already purchased a copy of the book, you can go to the book's "hidden" online Resources web site (see the last page of the book for how to get to the web site) and see pictures of my Roe-grown strawberry bed, starting early in the spring, when the berry plants were not much to look at.
I'll be posting some further insights about these strawberries and Roe's system at the Resources web page later today.
I can tell you the berries tasted as good as they look. Marlene and I savored these first berries together after I took some pictures. Which reminds me of a little essay I posted to this web site back in 2006: Sharing The First Fruit
Here's to lovely, delicious strawberries of the largest and finest quality!
With thanks to E.P. Roe.