Thursday, June 04, 2009


this morning the family and i headed over to Doran's Farm near (New Albany) and went strawberry picking. we got there about 10 am and in the two hours we were there we got about 20 lbs of these beauties. the farmer told us that every other row or so was a different variety and it was amazing to taste so many variations on the same luscious theme. i swear one row tasted as though it was crossed with banana! olive was particularly stealthy at picking strawberries but by the end both kids were stuffed to the gills with berries and their fingers, hands, cheeks, even knees showed the spoils of the adventure. we chose Doran's Farm because they are low-chemical and strawberries are by far the highest priority of what to buy organic as far as concentration levels go. i once read in a book that conventionally grown strawberries are often so pesticide laden that you could crush them up and use them as a pesticide. YIKES. i really really love my deep freezer right now. 10 lbs are already freezing and im going to do most of the rest when those are ready to be bagged and tagged. can't wait for months and months of cobblers, muffins, jams, jellies, and smoothies! im placing my order for michigan cherries from jacquamin farms in dublin in a few minutes. last year i think i got 10 lbs (for around $24) and they came pitted already which was a SWEET deal because those are a pain to pit and i probably wouldnt bother if they weren't. so the big question is do i get 10 lbs or 20 this year?

so, FINALLY the land bank here in columbus called me back. i have left 6 messages with them and called probably 8 times with no contact over the last two months. i admit i had gotten really discouraged. i feel so passionately about the idea of creating a community garden and that feeling was just unshakable. or so i thought - until two months dragged by into the growing season. see, one of my big faults is that i am impatient. i would not say i am impulsive, and risk sounding like i make decisions without a lot of forethought but when i commit to an idea i want to GET GOING. oh if only i ruled the world then everyone could be on my little time table! (this is me laughing) i went from dead asleep to standing on top of my bed when david burst into our bedroom this morning and told me who was finally on the phone returning my call! the land is ours, we just have to submit a drawing/plan of what we want to do and grow. the bad news is that we aren't allowed to put in anything permanent, as they only rent seasonally (april 1 - the growing season) which is pretty different than we had anticipated. that means no permanent structures like trees or perennial fruits and veggies, benches, even possibly raised beds which im still trying to wrap my brain around. like, i dont know if i am comfortable throwing food straight into the ground in the city. i suppose we could always dig out a space and fill it in with clean dirt and compost. anyways it's just evolving but in a different direction than i had anticipated. i mentioned the garden i had volunteered at a few weeks ago and how much i was inspired by it, wanted ours to evolve into a similar project and she said that single location was the one exception in the entire city that was permitted to have permanent structures because it was through the court system. d'oh! im still excited naturally, just trying to mend and bend my dreams around a little.

oh and im feeling a lot better. i am still kind of loopy and these steroids are doing a number on my heart and head but on the mend!


meridith said...

ok i LOVE strawberries soooo much, so that kind of freaks me out but now i will try to find organic ones or go to a farm.

Jenny A. said...

Glad your rash is getting better!
I looove strawberries but my little girl is allergic so we rarely have them in the house anymore. So jealous! Hope the garden planning goes well :)

Leanne said...

there are varieties of strawberries?!? wow! YUM!

jenny mae. said...

oh gosh yes there are many kind!

kelli said...

Hi Jenny,

I read your blog and am one of Karen James' friends from Michigan. Anyway, I read about some of your obstacles to creating a city garden and I wanted to share the above link with you. I used this lasagna style of gardening at my house and it worked wonderfully. It was really easy and cheap and so far I am thrilled with the results. I think it might be perfect for your garden. Kelli

jenny mae. said...

ooh i am loving this article. anything with mother earth news and i'm happy though :) we use a pretty intensive method in our garden, lots of companion planting & interplanting to use the space as best we can. this is kind of my first year trying a more intensive garden though but so far all things are thriving! (i really need to post more pictures)