For years, strawberries have eluded me in the garden. I had a little strawberry patch, just under my window, when I was a child. It would only yield 1-2 berries a year, more often than not just in time for me to give them to my mom for a Mother's Day treat. Little did I know then that they needed more light (they were on the north side of the house, in the shade most of the day) and that they certainly needed better dirt, not to mention some fertilizer every year.
At my current house, I planted strawberries, only to find that the rolie polies were more than willing to eat them before they had started to turn red.
In 2011, I bought a flat of strawberry plants. I had nothing that first year, but by the next spring, I had strawberries! Since I didn't really have the funds to purchase straw or something else to keep the pill bugs off, I left the dead leaves underneath the plants from winter to help keep the bugs off. It made a huge difference. The rolie polies still got some of my berries, but not all of them. I can see that I will need a lot more than a tiny little space in the yard to make enough strawberries for our family (if I planted the entire front yard in strawberries that would be better! ) Still, we were all thrilled to have fresh berries.
Strawberries are a luxury fruit to me. I stick to growing my own fruit, or buying fruit that is .50 to .75 a pound. Strawberries are usually on sale for $1.99 a pound, in season, where I live. This means I've gone several years without buying strawberries, and I've missed them. I've been watching, though, and lately I've seen them as low as $.98 a pound!
When my oldest was little, I used to buy strawberry popsicles. My younger children have never had them, and I remember that they were delicious. When the opportunity came to get strawberries for .98 a pound, I jumped at the chance, and made strawberry popsicles for all of my children to enjoy! This is still a rare luxury for us, but it has been a wonderful treat.
Makes approx. 6 popsicles
2 cups (500 ml) chopped strawberries
1 cup (225 ml) grape juice
Fill a 2 cup (500 ml) measuring cup up with chopped strawberries. Fill to the top with grape juice (approximately 1 cup (225 ml). Blend ingredients together. Pour mixture into popsicles mold and freeze until firm, about 12 hours.
I make grape juice from the grapes in my garden. You can use any kind of grape juice; mine is a light colored juice.