The sense of loss caused by the end of the asparagus season is eased by the arrival of the first British strawberries. Trying to eat seasonally means I avoid the tasteless Spanish fruits that have been in the supermarkets for weeks and instead save myself for the home grown beauties.
Being an enthusiastic but rather disorganised gardener I have strawberry plants dotted all over the place. A once neat strawberry bed is now also home to some rogue raspberries that I don’t have the heart to remove and wild strawberries run riot amongst my wild flower bed, along walls and even in the lawn. I also grow strawberry plants in various pots and this year am growing some through black plastic. Not very pretty but I’ll give it a go.
You may have gathered that I’m rather fond of strawberries and one of the many positives of working for Suttons is being able to try new varieties. This makes for a variety of pretty coloured flowers, white, cream and deep pink, and a wonderfully long fruiting season!
So, what to do with all this fruit? Much is eaten straight from the plant (hopefully by humans rather than slugs) but others are transformed into pavlovas, cheesecakes and tarts or simply guzzled with Devon clotted cream. The wild strawberries make a wonderful jam although it does take an age to collect enough fruits! I found the only way was to pick and freeze until I had enough. Then over to my husband to turn them into a delicious preserve worthy of a prize at the village show.
After a day working in the garden (or at Suttons) a special treat is a glass of cold Prosecco with a large strawberry popped in – simply gorgeous! And speaking of treats – my chickens adore the strawberry hulls. So yes, we all gorge together!