I love strawberries. LOVE them. Three or four years ago, I was able to buy twenty-five plants for, like, $8 through the local high school. Of course, they came dirtless, roots dangling, wrapped in wet newspaper. I planted them in various places in the garden, and even gifted some out. At first, I was a little disappointed that they are the June-bearing variety instead of ever-bearing. What strawberry lover wouldn’t prefer plants that produce more than once crop each season? But really, they were inexpensive and plentiful, so I didn’t complain.
If you’ve never grown strawberries, here’s a tip: they will take over! Each plant produces “runners” which in turn, root and create more plants. This is precisely how I now have about 100 square feet of strawberries in my garden. I couldn’t be more excited about them. And let’s be for real, organic strawberries are a pretty penny in the grocery store, so the fact that I won’t have to buy them nor travel to a store to get them is pretty rad. I love walking in the garden in the morning and picking fresh strawberries for breakfast!
When they first produced their flowers this year, I was stoked. Beautiful flowers carry the promise of future berries! I literally hopped up and down when those flowers transitioned into little green berries. I have been encouraging the plants, letting them know how lovely they are, how much I appreciate their efforts in growing these delicate berries that would nourish my body. I even, occasionally, gently caress a leaf or two, in the manner of petting a cat or dog, while exuding my gratitude for their existence. Yesterday, I found one that is beginning to ripen! I am filled with strawberry joy!
Being mindful of my strawberry plants and their progress has increased my enjoyment them. When I truly focused on them, I couldn’t help but smile to them. They are beautiful in every stage. Their transformation from flower to berry, shedding their lovely white petals and growing into plump, red berries, can be indicative of our own human transformations. Most people don’t recognize the flower as the berry, just as we may not seem to reflect a former version of ourselves. Plus, I love all the clusters of berries, they’re like little strawberry parties! Mindfully taking note of their growth filled me with excitement, love, and gratitude. Such a simple act, sitting and observing, but in that simplicity is the key to happiness.
Since I can barely contain my excitement over impending berries, I made another strawberry cake using frozen berries. I’m trying to create the most amazing strawberry cake ever. I used my recipe from my previous blog (Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake). I won’t retype the whole recipe here again, since I basically followed it exactly. I was running low on flour, so this time I used almost all whole wheat pastry flour. I finally used my chocolate version of the Wholesome vegan frosting. I added about one cup of sliced frozen strawberries. I did not thaw them in advance, I just took them out of the freezer, sliced them, and added them to the batter. One cup was not enough berries! If you’re going to add them in, I’d use two cups at least.
When all those berries start rolling in, I’m sure I’ll come up with some more delicious, vegan strawberry creations to share. Happy strawberry season, friends!