Cruising by the strawberry patch at the end of the day when I scooped up a red beauty and popped it in my mouth -- and stopped in my tracks. Now THAT was a strawberry. Believe me, I have spent hours crawling through strawberry patches, picked thousands of berries, tasted at least well into the upper hundreds. You would think I might be a little jaded. Or at least a bit cool toward these innocuous looking little fruits that take over my life and back for the month of June.

But I really had to stop and just taste that berry. Somehow the perfect combination of springtime rains, sweet organic earth, afternoon sun, and essence of berry had conjoined to splash a sparkle of flavor across my tongue that deserved the silence and stillness of utter appreciation. In an extremely busy time for market gardening when strawberry picking becomes yet one more huge task in a day overfull with patches to tend and fences to mend, I appreciated the reminder to stop and savor the fruits of our labor.

You may have noticed that the grocery stores have been flooded for the last month with huge, pale red, "strawberries" wedged into their clear plastic shells. Gentle readers, don't buy those berries. They were picked green so they could travel several days and thousands of miles unblemished; they are probably a variety that "ships well"; they spent the ripening days of their lives encased in plastic; and they don't taste good! At best they will offer a faint reminder of what a strawberry might suggest; at worst and very often, they are tough, dry and tasteless.

Wait for the Michigan berries. We are fortunate to live in an excellent fruit growing region. Wait for the Michigan berries. Even if they aren't organic, they will be fresher and sweeter. Wait for the Michigan berries, but don't wait too long! Depending on the weather, strawberry season in Michigan can be short, but believe me, very very sweet. Come see us at the market -- good Lord, good rains, and garden devas willing, we'll have our delicious organic berries for a few weeks. I'll try to save you some!


  1. That was a great post! My mouth is watering, which is mildly awkward as I sit here at my desk. I'm completely inspired to eat strawberries.


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