alexxkay: (Default)
The strawberries are in bloom, which means it must be weeding season. Progress is happening at a goodly rate. Nonetheless, the project is eternal. Estimating from both my progress and observed growth rates, I should have the spider wort vanquished by approximately 2020. And by “vanquished”, what I actually mean is “cut back to the point where I can keep it away from the strawberries with ONLY constant vigilance”. Slow and steady wins the fruit.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Spring having finally put in an appearance, I’ve been allocating much of my “productivity” spoons to the garden. For the last two years, the weeds have been seriously crowding out the strawberries. So I have been attacking them.

Now, it’s important to note that THOROUGH weeding is actually counterproductive. When the strawberry plants have no nearby competitors, they spread out rather than up. This leaves the strawberry fruit lying on the ground, and much less likely to reach ripeness intact. With competition, the stems stiffen, lifting even heavy fruit.

That said, I am doing my damnedest to genocide the spiderwort.

When it first showed up, several years ago, I was like “Those purple flowers are really pretty. I wonder what they are?” Some Internet research revealed a plant that went by several names, the most evocative of which was spiderwort. It also seemed to be widely regarded as a pestiferous weed. Knowing that “weed” is a subjective and problematic term, I left the spiderwort alone, due to the beauty of its flowers. This was an error.

Spiderwort starts out looking like a patch of unusually wide grass or reeds. By the time it flowers, it can reach a height of 2 to 3 feet. In late summer, after the flowers have had time to pollinate, the strong stems holding them up… relax. THWUMP! Suddenly, a 2 foot radius of the garden is completely covered in limp spiderwort, stealing all the sunlight. And it puts down new seedlings at the perimeter. If you leave it alone, you will soon have a LOT of spiderwort.

The enemy is well dug in, in multiple senses. But, day by day, the front moves back. I shall not rest until they have been driven back to the sea! Well, okay, not quite that far. But I am gonna get them the hell away from my strawberries.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Been lax about these, but have been harvesting pretty steadily (on non-rainy mornings). Got a few weeks of a steady quart a day, but we're now a few days past peak, and down to less than a pint. Still enough to feed the house (and guests!), but no longer enough to bring in and feed my office-mates.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Thursday evening I did a harvest run before dark, knowing that big rain was coming. Then this morning, when the sun returned, I did a standard harvest. One quart each time. More than we can eat, buthopefully some will keep well enough to bring to [livejournal.com profile] jducouer's wedding party tomorrow :-)
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Gotten about a quart each of the last three days. Seems to have stabilized. Come pick some, if you want!
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Sunday morning: 16. [livejournal.com profile] teenybuffalo came over, and I was able to ply her with some :-)
This morning: 16 again. Would have been more, but the rain slowed them down some, and also made me do a quick-and-dirty job of harvesting. [livejournal.com profile] devoken and [livejournal.com profile] londo are expected over tonight, and hopefully there will be some left to ply them with :-)

[[livejournal.com profile] kestrell always gets the first and best, naturally.]
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Thursday: 2 1/2-ish
Friday: ditto
Saturday: 7, and a *lot* more that look to be ready soon. I see we're skipping the slow ramp-up phase that we got last year :-)
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Still finding myself a lot more... alert while traveling than I want to be. This will pass.

My shoulder's been acting up increasingly for the last month. Saw the Ortho doc yesterday. He shot me up with steroids, which should theoretically improve things over the next five days. Still quite painful at the moment, but I'm hopeful.

Was cheered up considerably this morning by the discovery of a few ripe strawberries. The garden is under serious siege by weeds, but the strawberries are fighting back valiantly :-)
alexxkay: (Default)
I've been lax in reporting the last few days, but not in harvesting. I still typically get around a pint before I run out of steam. Note that the *garden* doesn't run out of steam -- yesterday, we had some visitors come and harvest about a quart.

Oddly, the day after visitors do a harvest, my next harvest tends to be easier. Not sure why that is, but I've observed it often enough to believe the effect is real. SO please come help yourself to some strawberries; you're helping me, too!
alexxkay: (Default)
Unexpected sunshine this morning, so put in a good long (if still incomplete) run at the garden. Got a bit more than a pint of good ones, and cleaned out over 3 pints worth of bad.
alexxkay: (Default)
Just grabbed a few yesterday, in the rain. Some housemate picked s few more later.

This morning, in the extreme cold and damp, I managed to stay long enough to get about a pint. There were more to get, but my fingers were freezing.

I think the local weather elemental woke up about a week ago and said to itself, "Did I forget something? ..oh yeah, April! I'll just sneak it in now, and hope no one notices."
alexxkay: (Default)
No harvest Saturday, due to inclement weather.

Paid for that today, with a much worsened rot/ripe ratio. Still got most of a quart of good ones, but with a lot more effort than usual.
alexxkay: (Default)
About 95% of a quart. There are more numerically than that might imply, though, as the average size is going down. (Still many big ones in the mix, but the smaller ones are getting dominant.)
alexxkay: (Default)
Keeping up with the garden is a lot of work. If I'm diligent and thorough, about half the fruit actually reaches ripeness. No amount of care can save more than that from fatal imperfections due to circumstances beyond my control. Fruit that looked perfect at first glance may reveal nasty chunks of rot when looked at more closely in a second pass. It's frustrating, but something you just have to live with.

Feels a lot like building game systems. Or probably any creative endeavor. People enjoy the sweetness, but they don't usually realize how much ended up in the compost heap.
alexxkay: (Default)
Went to the doctor last week, and just got back a letter with my lab results. Almost everything they measured is smack dab in the middle of the 'normal' range. My A1c (a long-term measure of diabetes severity) is not yet into the desirable range, but is getting very close to it.

For many years, I would order new pants when my old ones started to wear out. Since I started modifying my diet a couple years ago, and exercising more recently, I've been ordering new pants when the old ones start to fall off. I'm now down to a 33 waist. When I put away laundry last night, I pulled my 38-inch jeans out of the closet, and put them in the "drop off at goodwill" pile.

There will probably be some backsliding this month. Picking strawberries isn't nearly as aerobic as other exercise stuff I was doing, but takes up so much time that I don't do nearly as much of that other exercise. And the strawberries themselves are pure carbs. But the point of improved health is to enjoy life, and I enjoy the strawberries too much to not make this trade-off :)
alexxkay: (Default)
About 90% of a quart today. Plenty of sun, so even more expected tomorrow.

My office has many more people than it did last year. I feel compelled to pick more than I used to. The smiles of joy people give me in return are addictive.

Of course, there's still about half the people at work who see me offer and say "I'm good." No, no you are not. If you are turning down fresh strawberries, you are at best, broken, if not actually evil! Yes, I have strong feelings about this :)
alexxkay: (Default)
Forgot to post this morning. Very similar haul to yesterday's. But as soon as we get another day of solid sunshine, it looks likely to hit the "too many to pick before I have to leave for work" mark.
alexxkay: (Default)
About 85% of a quart.

Overcast today, so tomorrow may not be as bountiful.
alexxkay: (Default)
Was confused about my units the other day. 19 strawberries is more like half a pint than a pint.

Sunday, I got a bit under a full pint, and stopped actually counting numbers.

Sunday afternoon, ordered Chinese takeout. The delivery guy has been coming to our house for years now, and was very happy that "the straws" were back, and helped himself to a little extra tip. Sunday evening, housemates picked about a half pint for baking with.

This morning, despite the various extra harvests on Sunday, got well over a pint.

I'm calling it. Strawberry season is now officially open! This is more than we can eat by ourselves, so come on by and harvest at your pleasure. It may take a few hours for new ones to ripen, but not long :-)
alexxkay: (Default)
Nineteen, or, a bit over a pint half a pint. We're getting at least some sunshine today, which is good, though the overall forecast for the next few days is clouds and rain. Ripeness is beginning to spread out from the top corner of the garden, but hasn't yet become general.

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Alexx Kay

June 2017

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