Strawberry Fields



“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing birds is come…”
                                       Song of Solomon 2:11,12

How true this verse is! For right now, as I sit here typing, I can hear the melodious chorus of birds singing to their hearts content. You know their songs can give us a heads up about the weather if we listen and learn what each song means. For instance, an owl hooting in the woods during the day time, usually means that there is rain coming very soon. Every time I have heard an owl this spring {during 
the day time} we have gotten rain that night or the very next day. Just an interesting fact for you bird watchers out there!   Strawberry season is in full swing right now in our beautiful valley. A couple weeks ago we canned 20 quarts of fresh strawberries, thus kicking-off the beginning of canning season too. And, what could possibly be more delicious than a perfectly ripened-by-the-sun, gorgeous, red strawberry {or bowl of berries} with a cup of raw milk, or even thick, sweet cream?! I don’t know of anything more wonderful than being so blessed as to be able to grow such delectable foods. What a wonderful Creator we have! I was just mentioning to Jasmine the other day as we were planting out the tomatoes, that I think you can enjoy a complete fulfillment of cooking a good meal when you have toiled in the field, sweating, working and praying over the very harvest you hope to prepare for the dinner table someday. It must be the epitome of the “bread winner” to provide by the sweat of his brow, and the essence of the home maker to take that provided harvest and nourish the household with it.
Growing up in a farming community, we have so many wonderful memories of working in the fields. Of damp, cool, mornings, being out in the strawberry field long before the sun had come up over the hills, on our hands and knees in the straw, picking ripe, little, red jewels from the ever green plants, throwing the rotten ones at a nearby picker, laying on your back and looking at the gorgeous morning sky, and then looking down the long, long, row wishing you were done because the sun had finely gotten too hot and your knees and back were killing you. Of later that day, being in the hot kitchen, washing jars and checking the cook stove fire, and sitting on the porch capping strawberries till your hands and fingers are shriveled like raisins and your finger nails are so stained red that it takes a few days before it is worn off… and then at suppertime that night, when the dessert is served by the ambiance of the kerosene lamp, and the men folk exclaim, “Oh, my, strawberry short cake, my favorite!” it seems like all that toil and hard work has gone with the wind and the satisfaction of a meal well appreciated is the best reward you could ever dream of, even though you don’t ever want to look at a strawberry again in your life. You ever so gratefully and most tiredly climb into your feather bed and are asleep before your head hit’s the pillow and the next morning, you begin all over again refreshed and eager to work through this strawberry season.
   One of the blessings of strawberries is that if you have never canned a jar of fruit a day in your life, these little berries are some of the easiest to learn by. Strawberry jam is super easy, if you can wash dishes and cook a meal, you can definitely learn how to can strawberries!!  I would like to encourage anyone who is aspiring to learn more homesteading skills, or anyone who needs inspiration for the skills they already know, to pick up a cookbook {we just happen to know of real good one at www.homestead-blessings.com} or grab “Homestead Blessings, The Art of Canning” off the shelf {or find it at www.homestead-blessings.com} and be inspired to put up those strawberries, or make that dessert that’s bound to be on your men folks “Most Wanted” list!!  And be blessed as you embrace your calling as the Queen of the your home!

                                                                    Until next time….
                                                                             Cecilia for Homestead Blessings

“A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes.”
                                                           - Wendell Berry, from “The Pleasures of Eating”

Ps. If you are looking for a great book to read aloud to the family, we would highly recommend “Strawberry Girl” by Lois Lenski. This book was my favorite as a child growing up and I still love it today. It is a fictional story about a family back in the late 1800’s, moving from their home in North Carolina to an old farm in central Florida and growing strawberries as their main cash crop. Full of ole’ timey adventure and farming experiences, it captures the Old South and it’s culture perfectly. If the “Little House” books are on your favorite reading list, you’ll love reading “Strawberry Girl”!





20 comments:

Mountain Home Quilts said...

That was a wonderful post to read. I felt as if I'd been swept away into your strawberry patch! :)
Lois Lenski is a favorite of ours here. Although we have all boys, with only 1 girl, so the family favorite of hers tends towards "Cowboy Small."
Enjoy your berries.

pilgrimscottage said...

Great post! I know what you mean by the toil on the farm and enjoying the results of it. Worth the sweat of our brow work.

Joy said...

What a beautiful post, Cecilia!

We've been enjoying strawberries, too. We picked some at my parents' strawberry patch a couple of weeks ago, and when we were done, we enjoyed homemade ice cream with strawberry sauce on top.

The next day, I had the pleasure of canning some strawberry jam (not nearly as much as you did, though!), and also storing some away in the freezer to be used in smoothies and other things.

We have just started planting some strawberries this year, and we're hoping to have our own in years to come.

Thanks for mentioning "Strawberry Girl." I have seen that book, but we haven't read it. We'll have to find a copy to read!

Greg & Donna said...

Great post! We have just a few strawberries ~ not enough to amount to much but many more than last year! We are just starting with strawberries, so we've got to build up our plants. But we did pick peaches 2 days ago ~ got 11 pounds this year, much better than the 4-5 peaches the squirrels left us last year! Its all good! We too are praying for abundant crops to preserve for the winter months & to share!

Michelle, a heart at home said...

Thank you for the book recommendation-I'm always looking for good books to read to my little girls at bedtime.
I know that the strawberries are a lot of work, but they're so yummy that I know they're worth the effort.

The McArthur Family said...

Thank you for such a nice post!
Our family really enjoys "visiting" with you through your Homestead Blessings dvds.
We just tried making our first batch of soap recently!

May the Lord bless your weekend!

Beth
on behalf of the McArthur family
(We have also enjoyed the Waller's "A Journey Home" video!)

Findley Follies said...

Wonderful post! This is the second year for our strawberries, and they're doing great. We don't have nearly 20 quarts worth, but hopefully someday! :) What a blessing indeed to reap the fruits of your labor. Have a blessed weekend!

Stephanie said...

What an inspiring post! Thank you for taking the time to write it!

http://hopefulforhomemaking.blogspot.com

~Stephanie

Frankie Ann said...

We have grown strawberries for years. We usually make fruit leather, jam and freeze them in 1 cup containers with a little sugar mixed in for a winter treat. Sadly, last year we thinned out the old plants, replanted some of the young runners and lost most of them. We generally do this every few years, but this last year we had such a deer problem and they pulled up most of the new plants.

Rachael said...

Thank you for the PS about the book! We actually are moving from South Carolina to Central Florida soon and this book seems to fit perfectly! Thanks again!

Trish said...

I've always dreamed to live the life you live alas, I am in a city working a job. I am getting to an age where that dream slips away more and more. So I live vicariously through blogs like yours and it brings me to my dream if only in my mind. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Alway such a blessing!
Yolanda in CC California

Mrs.Rabe said...

We are in the midst of strawberry season here in Lancaster County Pa too!

Nothing like freshly picked strawberries - so good!

Dessert tonight for my son's birthday is yellow cake with strawberries and whipped cream!

Great post!

Deanna

Glen said...

I love most of your dvd's and the music cd's. Gardening, canning, cooking, dairy delights, herbs and one or two others have been a help to me, but as a guy, I haven't bought the sewing, quilting, crafting and candle making ones. I recently got some baby chicks and sure could have used a DVD from you on raising chickens. There is a lot of information out there, and it is sometimes too much and overwhelming. So........ If you want a suggestion for a future DVD, how about one on chickens and/or goats.
Thanks!

Rose said...

We love strawberries, too!! My family has a very tiny patch along the side of the house and they get eaten pretty quickly. God bless, Rose

Anonymous said...

I hope to order your video on canning shortly. I can't wait to get out at the library "Strawberry Girl" to read to my grandchildren. They are gonna love it. Thanks so much, blessings to you and your family.

martin, outer hebrides said...

Sounds like hard work, but good work. We have a strawberry patch 2 foot square - not huge by an standards, but looking forward to them more after reading your words :-)

The Homeschool Post said...

I don't see any contact information on any of your sites... Could you give me an email address so that I can contact you?

Sincerely,
Heather Solsbery from
The Homeschool Post

Jessica said...

I just found your blog and am loving it! I had a question for you..do you address maple syrup tapping in any of your dvd's or on your blog? I heard in one of your dvds that you tap your own. My husband and I were wanting to do that, and love all of your "help!" =-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful blog! I look forward to seeing much more!