Wild Strawberries

Unlike the last two years, I haven’t done any germination of seeds this year. In the last two years around end March, ever since we bought the house, I would germinate seeds of tomatoes, bell peppers, courgettes, long beans, and also herbs like basil and persil. I also tried my hand on melons. This year, I haven’t planted anything because I know that I won’t be around for the  harvest. I will be moving to Grenoble early July and leaving my lovely house. The house that we only bought less than three years ago.

Gardening is physically demanding work but I love it. It helps to clear my mind as I concentrate on getting rid of snails and slugs, clearing weeds, mowing, and sowing. Garden de-stresses me as much as making my bed every  morning does. I have to agree with what the popular psychology says about the mental benefits of making one’s bed every morning. Gardening and making beds share the same mental benefits: bringing a sense of order and calm and generating a feeling of accomplishment.

Realising that I won’t likely be around to enjoy most of the crops diminishes the joy in gardening. Other than the mental benefits of gardening mentioned previously, growing and savouring your own fruits and vegetables enhances the taste of the final products. When I produce my own crops, I know that every drop of sweat, every mosquito bite (or some unknown insect) or every cut or scratch that I am subject to is worth it. The pleasure of eating the fruits (and vegetables) of my labour is unbeatable. 

Tiny wild strawberries that are fragrant but unfortunately not that sweet.

Fortunately I still have something else in the garden to nibble on. The first batch of wild strawberries is finally here. It’s arrived late this year and the harvest is paltry—not enough even to fill up half a sauce bowl. I have decided to pick them now because they will not grow much bigger and they risk being enjoyed by some other beings. 

Dessert for dinner: Greek yogurt sprinkled with wild strawberries and topped with maple syrup.

There are two types of strawberries in the garden: the tiny wild ones, each about the size of half a marble, and the  remontant ones. Remontant strawberries are much bigger in size and usually are the ones that are commercially grown; they bear fruits several times a year. 

In the past two years, the remontant strawberries were more productive than the wild ones. At the end of May in the last two years, I already collected enough remontant strawberries to make pastries. Not this year. It’s already June and there are only a handful of unripe remontant strawberries. The wild ones are not producing as much either, but at least they have a higher yield than the remontant ones. 

The temperature  has been lower than usual even though we are just a few more weeks to summer. In addition, there is much higher precipitation and not much sun. The weather conditions are definitely not propice for the strawberries. It must be another consequence of climatic change. 

I have about one more month with my garden. Hopefully the Mr. Sun will appear more often and I will get to savour my last round of homegrown strawberries. Fingers crossed. It goes for my raspberries, red currants, and cherries too. I don’t think I will get to enjoy my hazelnuts and blackberries though.

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