Last year on one of my visits to JenEhr Farm to pick up theCSA the crew was planting strawberry plants. Farmer Paul happened to mention to me that they had extras and I gladly volunteered to take some off his hands for my garden, and my neighbor Ben's garden too, it turned out there were a lot of plants in the bag Paul gave me. Sadly after they gave those away to us and we had already planted them in our yards, the floods of 2008 came and washed away many of the plants at JenEhr and they lost an entire bed of strawberry plants to the rain.
So, we've been eagerly awaiting the appearance of the first berries this season. Ben's kids even had a bet as to when the first ripe berry would appear. Yesterday while I was on the porch reading the Wednesday New York Times Dining Section, along comes Ben with a grin and a handful of freshly picked strawberries from his yard. You forget how good they are, the first precious ones picked at the perfection of ripeness and sweet and juicy, and especially from your own garden. I restrained myself and saved two for Tim, which wasn't easy...if he'd been 5 minutes later coming home from work they'd have been gone :)
The plants in our yard still have all green berries on them, but they'll be here soon, so dust off your canning jars and dig out your shortcake recipes. Summer is officially here!