We're jamming......strawberry jamming.
Musings on small farm living.
So why am I standing at the kitchen counter, blurry eyed at 9 o'clock at night,
sorting and chopping organic strawberries, when I should be tucked up on the
sofa falling asleep over the latest Katie Fforde? ( I also have several highbrow
novels and some very interesting and challenging metaphysical reading lined up,
but Katie Fforde wins out after a normal day with three children, four dogs,
three cats all needing various forms of attention). Well, leaving the city for
the country life and a bit of land, you decide to grow something, 'cos otherwise
you're just a city slicker pretending to be a country person - like "all the
others are tourists but I'm a cultured visitor " mentality. Anyway, so twelve
strawberry plants, four years on have now become a commercial (sort of) organic
growing business and, two months of the year, my evenings are spent making jam.
The best strawberries get sold straight, no probs, but there are half as much
again that are rejected due to no fault of their own, a peck mark, slight
deformity or whatnot, and what am I going to do with them.
The trouble is living on a farm somehow brings out all the traditional frugal
qualities of our ancestors - waste not want not - everything must be preserved,
frozen, used profitably or else why did you put so much effort into growing them
in the first place. So you can't lob 3 kilos of seconds into the bin, put it out
for the rubbish collectors and forget about it. For a start there are no rubbish
collectors, it'll sit there reproachfully until composted, attracting fruit
flies, or else the chickens will get drunk on fermenting fruit......... so yummy
delicious strawberry jam is the result.
So chopping strawberries, brain disengaged, do I think how lucky to be
surrounded by so much luscious, decadent, fragrant fruit, or that I could never
get excited about them again? Are the chickens going to start laying strawberry
flavoured eggs soon from all the rejected rejects, and if so should I start
making strawberry soufflé? Looking at the chakra pages on
http://www.aflowergallery.com where a red flower is the first chakra, is the
strawberry the first fruit chakra? And if so what are all the others....orange -
oranges, easy....yellow - lemons or bananas....green - apples ....we're doing
good.....now it gets harder....blue...hmmm..cliché blueberries (definitely not
Smurf blue but still blue)....indigo. are damsons indigo? Or mulberries (my
fingers and the children's clothes usually turn more of a burgundy colour after
harvesting them)...what about violet...I'm getting stuck now and rambling madly
off the subject, what was it?
Strawberries and chakras, which leads to health - what did Margaret Roberts say
strawberries were good for...skin...well my two year old daughter used to help
pick strawberries last year, until two weeks into the season she came out in a
massive skin rash due to excessive overindulgence causing an allergic
sensitivity, so I won't be rubbing strawberries into her skin. Rich in
antioxidants, killing viruses, lowering blood pressure, helping fight cancer -
sounds like a miracle fruit to me. I think I need to be more respectful of them,
after all, who can complain of evenings spent in such worthwhile company.
Copyright Kit Heathcock
About the Author
Sometime flower photographer, keen observer of the resonances of life and
fulltime mother. Born in the UK but now living on a farm in the southern
hemisphere. Contributor to the creation and maintenance of
one of the
http://www.aflowergallery.com chakra flower art.
Have an article that you would like
to submit to us ?
Do you know of a resource that could be useful to dessert-recipes ?