We are jamming….strawberry jamming.
Musings on small farm living.
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 over the latest Katie Fforde? ( I also have several highbrow books and some very interesting and challenging metaphysical reading lined up, but Katie Fforde wins out following a normal day with three children, four dogs, three cats all needing various forms of attention). Well, leaving the city to the country life and a little 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’m a cultured visitor” mentality. Anyhow, so twelve strawberry crops, four decades on have now become a commercial (sort of) organic growing business and, two months of this year, my evenings have been spent making jam.
The trouble is living on a farm somehow brings out all of the traditional frugal attributes of our ancestors – waste not want not – everything must be preserved, frozen, used profitably or else why did you put so much effort into growing them in the first place. That means you can not lob 3 kilos of moments into the bin, put it out to the rubbish collectors and forget about it. For a start there are no rubbish collectors, it is going to sit there reproachfully until composted, bringing fruit flies, or the cows 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, fragrant fruit, or I could never get excited about them ? Are the chickens going to begin laying strawberry flavoured eggs soon from all the rejected rejects, and if so should I start making strawberry soufflé? 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, simple….yellow – lemons or bananas….green – apples….we’re doing good….now it gets harder….blue. . .hmmm. .cliché blueberries (certainly not Smurf blue but still blue)….indigo. .are damsons indigo? Or mulberries (my palms and the children’s clothes usually turn more of a burgundy colour after harvesting them). . .what about violet…I’m getting stuck now and rambling madly off the topic, what was it?
Strawberries and chakras, which results in health – what did Margaret Roberts say strawberries were good for. . .skin. . .well my 2 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, so I will not be rubbing strawberries into her skin. Rich in antioxidants, killing viruses, lowering blood pressure, helping fight cancer – seems like a miracle fruit for me. I believe I want to be respectful of them, after all, who can complain of evenings spent in such rewarding business.