Surprised to see strawberries? So are we!
Strawberries are very hard to grow on a large-scale using practices that respect the ecosystem.
After all, we aren't the only ones after their delicious taste. Birds, bugs, snails, slugs, and all forms of mammals are drawn to their sweet smell.
Because of this, it's no wonder that they've once again topped the list of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.
While certain pesticides are approved for use in organic agriculture in Canada, we run our farm without any such pesticides.
If a crop can't be grown without sprays, we aren't interested in growing them. Instead, we try to time our crops to avoid pest pressure, and use exclusion netting and greenhouse space to its fullest.
In 2012 we planted 1,500 bed feet of strawberries and got 3 measly fruits. But we are stubborn, and felt that with our increase in organic matter in the soil, and increased knowledge, we might be able to pull it off.
As some of you saw last week, we were successful in growing them on a larger scale this time! And while we had only a small amount to divy up amongst you folks (we will only be able to give a half pint per CSA shareholder this year), we hope you will enjoy them.
For those in North Bay who didn't get any last week, please know that you are set to receive them this week :)
And as far as a recipe goes, call me a purist, but I think that such a small amount of such special strawberries should be enjoyed as is, outdoors, with your feet up, and a gentle summer breeze.