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We are jamming….strawberry jamming.

Musings on small farm dwelling.

So why am I standing at the kitchen counter, blurry eyed at 9 o’clock at night, sorting and chopping organic strawberries, when I should be tucked up on the sofa falling asleep within the most current Katie Fforde? ( I also have several highbrow books and some very interesting and challenging metaphysical reading lined up, but Katie Fforde wins out after a regular day with three children, four dogs, three cats needing various sorts of attention). Well, leaving the city to the country life and a bit of land, you opt to grow something,’cos otherwise you’re just a city slicker pretending to be a country person – like”all of the others are tourists but I am a cultured visitor” mentality. Anyway, so twelve strawberry plants, four years on have now become a commercial (sort of) organic growing business and, two months of the year, my evenings are spent making jam. The best strawberries get sold directly, no probs, but there are half as much again which are rejected because of no fault of their own, a peck mark, slight deformity or whatnot, and what am I going to do together.

The problem is living on a farm somehow brings out all the traditional frugal qualities of our ancestors – waste not want not – everything has to be preserved, frozen, used profitably or else why did you put so much effort into developing them in the first place. So you can’t lob 3 kilos of seconds into the bin, put it out for the rubbish collectors and forget about it. For a start there are no rubbish collectors, it’ll sit there reproachfully until composted, attracting fruit flies, or the chickens will get drunk on fermenting fruit…. So yummy delicious strawberry jam is the outcome.

So chopping strawberries, brain disengaged, do I think how blessed to be surrounded by a lot luscious, decadent, aromatic fruit, or I could never get excited about them again? Are the chickens going to begin laying strawberry flavoured eggs from all the rejected rejects, and if so if I start making strawberry soufflĂ©? Taking a look at the chakra pages on http://www.aflowergallery.com where a red flower is the first chakra, is the strawberry the first fruit chakra? And if so what are all the others….orange – oranges, easy….yellow – lemons or lemons….green – apples….we’re doing good….now it gets harder….blue. . .hmmm. .clichĂ© blueberries (definitely not Smurf blue but still blue)….indigo. . .what about violet…I am getting stuck now and rambling madly off the subject, what was it?

Strawberries and chakras, which leads to health – what did Margaret Roberts say strawberries were good for. . .skin. . .well my two year old daughter used to pick strawberries this past year, until two weeks into the season she came out in a massive skin rash due to excess overindulgence causing an allergic sensitivity, therefore I won’t be rubbing berries into her skin. Rich in antioxidants, killing viruses, lowering blood pressure, helping fight cancer – seems like a miracle fruit to me. I believe I want to be more respectful of them, after all, who can complain of evenings spent in such worthwhile business.

Strawberry Jam

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