Now that the cold weather is upon us, my everbearing strawberries are finally done. There are some little berries on the plants, but they won’t ripen in the cold. It’s time to cut them down and throw some mulch over them for the winter.
Every once in awhile I like to make ‘Garden Tea’, which is really just a compilation of leaves from the garden. Mint, raspberry leaves, and strawberry leaves feature prominently in this tea, plus whatever else happens to be around. If I’ve just been foraging and have some fresh or dried nettle leaves, I’ll add those too. When we’re out camping, often I’ll just gather the wild raspberry and strawberry leaves (and mint if I’m lucky) and make a tea from those. It’s very soothing, this blend of flavours.
It’s a good sign for the garden, especially your fruiting plants like squashes and cucumbers and peppers, when you see perfectly round circles cut into the edges of plant leaves. It may not look polished and spotless in the garden when this happens, but it’s good news. Leafcutter bees are good pollinators. They use the cut-out circles to line the narrow spaces where they lay their eggs. So if you see this kind of semi-destruction, don’t panic, it’s great news for your garden.
This leaf is from a White Soul alpine variety of strawberry. Alpine varieties tend to have smaller berries, but they are packed with flavour and they don’t send runners all over the garden. These are white, which helps with the bird problem. Birds are way more likely to eat red strawberries. In fact, I don’t think I had a single issue with birds eating these white strawberries, and they were not covered at all.
I’ll be sharing some of these seeds at the Seed Love Seed Swap on Saturday, November 9, 2014. Please come if you can!
More details on the events page (link).
I hope to see you there!