Sunday, April 30, 2017

Strawberries, Peas and Greens

I had my first big strawberry harvest this week with 2 lbs, 12 oz of delicious berries!  We had a lot of rain last week, 3 1/2 inches over two days, so I was worried about my strawberries rotting, but most of them were fine.  The slugs and snails have definitely been snacking as well, but so far the damage hasn't been excessive.


With all the strawberries, I had to make a delicious spring desert: angel food cake with strawberry sauce and homemade whipped cream.  Yum!


If you can pry your eyes away from the strawberry shortcake, the rest of the garden is growing rapidly.  The peas are flowering profusely and look lovely.


But if you look closer you'll see lots of tiny problems, they are covered with aphids.


The good news is that I have some helpers.  I spotted some ladybugs having an aphid buffet.  I'm not confident that there are enough ladybugs to battle the amount of aphids.


I also spotted a dragonfly next to the peas.  Perhaps he is joining the aphid feast with the ladybugs.  I hope combined they can keep the aphid population under control.


I did harvest some fat pea pods, so at least I got some peas in case the aphids destroy them.  Unfortunately we ate them before they were photographed or weighed.

The rest of this week's harvests were forms of green: cabbage, Chinese cabbage, spinach, lettuce and Swiss chard.  I've religiously weighed everything for the past three years and as much as I love having all the data, it has become too tedious.  My goal was to grow 1,000 lbs of veggies and I reached that goal last year, so the motivation to weigh harvests has faded.  The harvests that I dislike weighing the most are greens.  2017 is the year of sporadic weighing.  I'm weighing things that strike my fancy, like strawberries.


We had a delicious garden stir fry with the cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, and the first peas.  I've also been eating lots of spring salads and veggie wraps.  The garden is feeding me well right now.

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week.  To see what others are harvesting, check out Harvest Monday on Our Happy Acres.

18 comments:

  1. Your cake looks delicious Julie. How wonderful it is to have home grown strawberries.

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    1. Thanks! The cake did not last long!

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  2. Strawberry Shortcake looks really good Julie. Well done on your strawberry harvest and I hope the ladybugs and dragonflies have a good old feast on those aphids for you. Great photo too of the ladybug.

    Kylie

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    1. I think there are fewer aphids now, or perhaps it's just wishful seeing!

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  3. I am impressed that you weighed everything for as long as you did. I am not sure I could have kept it up for so long. Have you seen any ladybug larvae? When I first noticed the larvae in my garden I went 'en guarde', ready to get rid of them because I thought they were pests. I have a handy gardening book that has pictures of garden pests and allies which helped me identify them correctly so I left them alone to do their work.

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    1. I did see some ladybug larvae, but when I went out with my camera I couldn't find any. I guess they are camera shy!

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  4. Julie it is interesting that we are in different seasons yet are growing the same fruit and veggies.

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    1. That's crazy. I've never had strawberry harvests in the autumn.

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  5. Yum on the strawberries, yuck on the aphids! The aphids have been especially bad here this year, perhaps due to the mild winter. I don't know how many aphids one ladybug can eat, but hopefully they are hungry!

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    1. We had a really mild winter, so I'm thinking it's going to be a bad year for bugs.

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  6. Wow! You are so far ahead of us. We are just beginning to plant - with caution. Also 1000 lbs! I have no clue how many pounds we produce. Your strawberries are a beautiful spring site. I can hardly wait to begin getting fresh food from the garden.

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    1. Here's hoping your spring arrives soon! You probably harvest far more than you think. I would have never thought I grew that much until I started weighing.

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  7. So great that you're harvesting so much already. Love seeing your cabbage and strawberries all nestled together. Ewww slugs, I hate accidently touching them which seems to happen fairly often in the greenhouse. I wonder if there's anything you can do about the aphids, there's so many of them.

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    1. Yes, ewww on the slugs. I picked a strawberry and there was one on the other side that I didn't see, so icky and slimy!!

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  8. Your garden is doing wonderful! Love the Dragonfly! Hoping that some good bugs find their way into my courtyard this year and some birds but am wondering because the houses are so close. I might have to learn how to hand pollinate my zucchini! Nancy

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    1. I bet the pollinators won't have a problem visiting your zucchini flowers.

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  9. Oh yum - I can just imagine the heavenly smell coming from that bowl! And the cake looks delicious! Fingers crossed that the ladybugs and dragonflies thoroughly enjoy their buffet and tell all their friends :)

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