Fresh from the Farmer's Market - Pesticide free and local!

One of my first paying jobs was picking strawberries. I don't remember how much we were paid, but it wasn't much. I didn't last long either. It was a hot job and I hate it! We have now returned to our childhood because this year we purchased our berries at the Farmer's Market, already picked! I'd rather pay a little more and have someone else pick them, and so would Richard. 

The challenge is to find berries that have not been sprayed with pesticides. There were several at the market that had pesticide free berries. I think they are responding to customer requests. More people prefer the berries that are not sprayed. The really nice thing is that you can just pop one in your mouth without washing it and now worry about what you are eating...well, other than a little leftover sand or a small leaf! 

I came home and made 2 batches of strawberry jam. It took 4 quarts to make the jam and we had one quart left for strawberry shortcake for dinner.  I sent Richard to the store to get 'kool-whip' and he said "I'm not buying kool-whip for MY shortcake..I want the real thing!" So he bought whipping cream and I let him whip it up! It was a delicious, fresh taste of summer!  The way we always knew it was strawberry season was that it fell on Vacation Bible School week, which usually was the second week in June.

The garden is looking nice. We've had some very nice rain at just the right time. Everything is growing great and looks strong. Richard brought in 2 little arugala leaves today! I rinsed them off and we each had one. Oh what a treat!! We should be able to have an arugala salad with fresh radishes and onions in another week or so. I'm VERY excited to say the least!

This is the first year we've seen rabbits here. We were sitting on the deck having our dinner this evening and I saw a little baby bunny run across the yard just past the garden! They are so cute, but I knew if there was a baby there was also an adult somewhere! It wasn't long until we saw Mr. AND Mrs. Bunny go into the garden. Oh my! My pacifist, gentle husband turned into RoboCop! He said "I'll SHOOT rabbits if they get in my garden!" to which I just cracked up! There isn't a chance in the world that he would shoot an animal. He doesn't even have a gun! But, out he went to the garden, quick as could be, clapping his hands and making noise to chase them away. It was great entertainment! We'll have to keep an eye out for evidence of rabbit trespassing!

Richard also noticed that the potatoes are showing signs of potato bugs so tomorrow morning he's planning on going out and taking them off. Thus begins a daily job!

I haven't posted much lately about MEATLESS MONDAY. We have still been eating meatless on monday but I've been in a funk about what to have. I've been looking for new ideas and recipes. It seems I am just circulating the same dishes! Now that it's grill season that will change. I bought an eggplant at the store this weekend and Monday we will have grilled eggplant and romaine. I have never grilled the lettuce but have seen it many times on cooking shows so I want to try it. I have a recipe for Green Goddess dressing that I plan to make for the grilled romaine and I'm making a couscous dish that has feta cheese and currants in it.

Next week I don't have to work so I'll have time to work on projects here at home. I have a door I want to paint and I also bought an old wooden step ladder that I'm going to paint and add shelves to for a repurposed book shelf thingy!

The other project for the week comes from a blog post I saw somewhere. I'm going to make a summer reading adventure for the little grandkids. I'll have to take some pics to post. Each child will have a little bucket to collect tokens which I will print off on the computer for each 20 minutes that they read or are read to.  I'll give our son suggested books for him to get at their local library. I'm going to have small craft ideas and they will get prizes as they accumulate tokens. At the end of the summer we'll have a pizza party with games at a park. I have a lot of work this week coming up with the suggested reading and making all the tokens, and decorating the buckets.  I'm excited about it and hope they will be, too. At least enough so they spend some time with books over the summer instead of in front of the TV! The older one can read to the younger ones for credit. I really do think they'll have fun with it.

I suppose my next post will be a picture of our first garden produce. I hope it comes soon! Hope you are enjoying the season of planting and anticipation! I'm interested to hear what your favorite way is to have strawberry shortcake? What type of 'cake'...'biscuit'...etc. 

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine being paid to pick strawberries for hours on end. All of that bending and reaching is really tough on your back and legs. :O

    When I was in college we had a decent sized strawberry patch in my parents' backyard. Every morning from the end of May to the beginning of July I'd go out early in the morning to pick strawberries. At the beginning it was a 30 second job.

    You might like this blog as you look for other meatless-Monday ideas: http://veganyumyum.com/ It's vegan but I think you could very easily substitute real butter, cheese, etc. if you find a recipe that looks good.

    How did you decide which books to recommend for your grandkids?

    Oh, and cake is my favourite way to make strawberry shortcake. It's the only time of year I have cake for dinner. :D

    By mid-June, though, it took more like 30-45 minutes. And that was about all of the picking I could stand for the day!