As it happens, strawberry cultivation used to be big business here in the last village in Wales. And myself, Joshua and the Mrs have been working hard to create a patch here at the Welsh Hovel.
The upper field nearest to the hovel has already been turned into an apple, pear and plum orchard. Just the three trees below are left to plant. then we will have six types of edible apples, two of crabapples, two of plum and three of pear. It is all good for cross polination I gather and we have now been offered a hive by a local bee-keeper to speed up that process.
On the lower edge of the field, buried until our arrival in a sea of nettles and ferns, were the remains of three buildings: a chicken shed I am now demolishing, a small asbestos clad tool shed I am also demolishing, and a low outer wall of a shed long since demolished. Within that wall are all sorts of nasties, shards of glass and a range of ironworks. But they have been removed by the Mrs and myself over the past few months together with a stack of nettles and ferns rising from the dead. The roots have been extracted and what is left is some decent quality earth.
To this I will, this week, start adding sacks of manure and some mulched grass clippings I have set aside and then the strawberries will be planted. I have emptied the last strawberries on the shelves of my local garden centre to secure the 53 plants below. Another 96 are on the way by mail order and I will then seek to secure another 50 or so from somewhere and the planting can be completed. Joshua loves strawberries and if this plot gets going we will have no problem meeting his needs.
I have suggested that the Mrs might start to make strawberry jam but that generates one of those “I am a serious career woman and that is your job” looks. Indeed.