Strawberry season: so short, but so sweet!!

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A delightful concoction of strawberries, agave nectar, lime juice, and silver tequila. Que bueno!

 

Strawberry season in Virginia lasts all of about six weeks. In the past, I would always get my fix by going to pick a few batches at a local berry farm. This year was different, since the backyard crop I planted last spring has just EXPLODED over these past few weeks. I have been picking big bowls of berries on a daily basis. This is great, of course, but then the question arises: what to do with all of this? Fresh strawberries don’t last long, so I knew I had to get creative.

So far, I have dehydrated them, frozen them, and given some away. I’ve made strawberry cupcakes, jam, and smoothies. I’ve put them on salads and made margaritas (the best I’ve ever had, incidentally!). My husband made a fantastic strawberry shortcake the other night. We even fed some to our chickens to see how they liked them (quite well, actually).

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I even pureed some strawberries into the icing!

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Spinach, strawberry, and toasted pecan salad with vidalia onion dressing. 100% vegan and 100% awesome!

Never before have I had to find so many ways to prepare one single type of food! I’m glad I did, though, because it’s taught me how to enjoy my favorite fruit in so many different ways. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick more strawberries.

Spring time means fresh veggies!

Apple. The fruit and flowers.Here in Virginia, the weather is a fickle thing. After lots of back-and-forth between snow, rain, warm, and cold, it seems spring is here to stay. Hurray! That means time to start the vegetable garden! Growing your own food is much easier than you think, whether you’re limited to containers on a patio or have many acres. The vegetables you grow are tastier, healthier, and best of all, you enjoy the rewarding feeling that comes with knowing you have provided food for your family — no supermarket needed!

My husband made us some raised beds, which I HIGHLY recommend, especially if the soil quality isn’t great where you live. You can fill in the beds with compost, vermiculite, and other rich materials to give your seeds a great start. Plus, it cuts down on weeding. It’s a win-win!

Soon, my little "baby basils" will be ready for transplanting!

Soon, my little “baby basils” will be ready for transplanting!

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What are you growing this year?
So far, I have planted dill, chives, strawberries, potatoes, kale, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, turnips, onions and garlic.
This weekend I will be planting squash and cilantro. I will be posting pictures of the veggies' progress as well as harvesting when the time comes, so stay tuned!!