Strawberries!

mmm... with creme fraiche...
mmm… with creme fraiche…

We have been enjoying Ozark Beauty strawberries from out backyard for about two weeks now. I planted two flats last summer (6 six-packs in each flat, a real find!) as ground cover in the formerly shady part of the back yard. Mike has been picking about a quart every other day, and last night he put a batch in the dehydrator. These tiny intense morsels of strawberryness will be a great addition to the backpacking menu – if we don’t eat them as soon as they come off the drying tray.

An update on the garlic scapes: I made a yummy stir fry the other night with little strips of pork loin, scapes, asparagus, hot pepper flakes, mushroom soy, hoisin sauce, and and dash of sesame oil. Cooking the scapes tones them down, so they were more like garlic-flavored green beans. Tomorrow I’ll put a load in the dehydrator and we’ll see how they come out.

Volunteer tomato plants keep appearing around the yard, in the garden, and next to the chicken house. I’ve decided to plant them in the space reserved (next year) for blackberries, next to the new fence on the north side of the back yard. There is just something so exciting about volunteer veggies – you never know what you might get (sort of like raising children). I remember the year we harvested enormous banana squash-type fruits from a volunteer squash plant. I’d never planted any banana squash

Kale growing next to the chicken yard
Kale growing next to the chicken yard

before, so I guess this was a cross between a summer squash and a pumpkin. They were a pale pink, weighed about 30 lbs, dense, dark orange flesh, and had a very small seed core. I dubbed them “beluga squash.” That fall we ate a lot of (beluga squash) ice cream, pies,  bread, and muffins.

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