Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Strawberry Game-Changer



It's Strawberry Fever around here with the 13,500 Strawberry plants we planted 12 weeks ago fruiting in all of their anticipatory glory. Most impressive are the Sweet Anne's, those huge delicious morsels pictured above. They are quite spectacular. I photographed them in a line above our other traditional varieties - the Cambridge Rivals, Hokowase and Kunowase -so you can see just how they compare in size. 

After we gorged ourselves senseless on them in the first week we decided we needed to get serious about the Strawberries so embarked on making jam. A lot of jam. This lead to thinking about selling the Strawberries and the jam at some markets as well as opening our farm up to some pick-your-own berry activity prior to the building being finished (or started for that matter but let's not go there right now).  




So last Sunday we invited some friends over for a few hours of pick-your-own fun as a bit of a practice run and to celebrate this new venture we've embarked upon.  I only put the call out on my personal facebook page but ended up getting 70 friends through the gates and the 12-3pm time-slot quickly went out the door and we finished up the day well after 9pm.  It was all a rip-roaring success and I'm so grateful for the support of our friends for making it such a special day.

The following day I dropped off some punnets to a couple of people at school who couldn't make it and ended up leaving the school with more orders for the following day. Soon word got around and I've been run off my feet keeping up with demand. I've been up at the crack of dawn picking strawberries and then trading them at the school gate at drop-off and pick-up time like a naughty school kid trading illicit substances. I've suddenly found myself working well in advance of the March time-frame I was mentally working towards.

It has been fantastic though. The Strawberries have been a game-changer in 2 respects. Firstly, for the first time in 10 years I'm bouncing getting out of bed without the need for 2 strong lattes and the cries of the offspring searching for a school top. I now only need 1 cup and am getting out of bed quite cheerfully. Naomi Campbell may not get out of bed for $10,000 but I'm more than happy to do it for a punnet of Strawberries. Things may look a little different by the end of the season but for now it's cheerful Mel in the mornings with a marginally sore back by evening but who has no trouble sleeping anymore. Secondly, I'm baking again. The 30 year old oven went kaputt last Summer and every baking episode since has been an epic disaster. The new oven was installed this week and I've made 3 Pavlovas in 3 days, the one above was tonight's dessert. Daniel is thrilled beyond measure. It's been a Strawberry Game-Changer.

A few other exciting things have happened this week like meeting fellow bloggers Stacey and Rachel in real life. What a treat. More about that next time.



PS. I almost forgot, Congratulations to CJ who won the little giveaway in my last Post! 





29 comments :

  1. Hurrah! And Wow! And Yum! And, it looks hot there. And, how much are plane tickets to Tasmania again?

    Wish you could see that I'm grinning a big grin for you, my faraway friend x

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  2. See, I was quite happy with it being nearly winter and then you show me strawberries and cricket. Just fabulous.

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  3. Those strawberries look amazing! Well done!!

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  4. Sounds like so much fun and the strawberries look amazing. Glad that your adventure has started and you have a spring in your step too. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  5. I'm so pleased your venture is getting off to such a glorious start. The strawberries look delicious - even in the murky grey light of a UK November day! Fabulous.

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  6. Huge congrats on this next step Mel. The strawberries look amazing, as does the pavlova under them. Pleased you're enjoying this adventure, there's something somewhat rewarding about those end of day aches that come from work of the physical kind.

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  7. Eeek, I'm thrilled, thank you so much Mel. And well done on all the strawberry action, it sounds as though things are going really well. You've made me long for summer though! CJ xx

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  8. Oh wow! gorgeous!! what a great start to your venture!! Your strawberry pickin' party sounds like such fun!:) My 10 yr old daughter has just been drooling over your strawberry pictures and in awe of how many plants you have. She has one plant that she watches every day, fighting a battle with a King Parrot for the fruit.

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  9. Mel, can you pm me on aussiethreads@gmail.com re local strawberry farm 'materials'

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  10. Yummy! I am dreaming of eating strawberries right now. The strawberry farm near us just finished up for the season, a shame really, but we managed to get there on their last weekend and do some pick your own (only option by then). Half have made it to jam status the other half will be in that state soon.

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  11. I'm wondering what you will doing in January when I'm visiting friends in Tasmania? I'll be keeping an eye on your blog!

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    1. We'll be here, please pop by and say hello :-)

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  12. So wonderful you are enjoying it all so much! Just wish I was closer for some champagne and strawberries :-)

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  13. Looks fantastic Mel! Sorry we couldn't be there (gawd there was champers on as well!!) but really looking forward to popping along at some point soon.
    You must be so pleased and rightly so!
    xx
    Love the photo of the little fella in the chair with his strawberries!

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  14. Those are the most amazing strawbs I've ever seen!
    Life seems pretty bloody good right now Mel. It's lovely to hear x

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  15. The strawberries you have grown are absolutely amazing! I am so impressed! This blog post seriously made me want to move to Tasmania and go strawberry picking at your farm! xx

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  16. Hahaha Mel! I love the image of you selling 'illicit" strawberries by the school gate. This is such a great post to read - your excitement and happiness is positively contagious - thank you so much for sharing! whohoo for strawberries!!! xo

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  17. Dear Mel,

    I have only a few seconds before the noon school run but this post has put a smile on my face! Good for you and your wonderful family! This is what life should be about and you are fulfilling your dreams!

    Stephanie x

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  18. I'm so very happy for the early success with your farming venture, Mel! Those strawberries look absolutely amazing!

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  19. How Beautiful! Your pav looks delicious - what a great re-entry into the baking scene ;)

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  20. Those strawberries look sensational - love the idea of being able to pick your own! My oven is on its last legs - I'm planning on getting rid of it and buying a new one in the holidays. Can't wait!

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  21. Stunning. Stunning. Stunning! Strawberry heaven!

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  22. Those strawberries look amazing! For a second there I thought they were fake because they look so perfect. I've only been strawberry picking once but they taste so much better than the store bought stuff. x

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  23. Oh wow, that looks great. My son picked his first strawberry from our courtyard this morning. Unfortunately he didn't quite understand when I said... "No sweetie, wait till they turn red, then you can pick oné" ...he is two. Oh well, hopefully he won't pick them all green.

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  24. Beautiful photos of your strawberries ... you'll have to use some of these in your advertising for the farm! You've got a wonderful thing going there Mel, and it looks like everything is going to sail along once you open those doors. Your pavlova looks scrumptious!! Strawberry-anything is the best!! Wendy x

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  25. Thank you so much for all of your lovely and supportive comments xxx

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  26. I love everything about the strawberry game changer!!
    So thrilled for you guys and your scrumptious crop. xx

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  27. Those strawberries are a triumph, they are just picture perfect! I'm so glad they are a success for you. Also - your photos are fabulous. So light and clear. xx

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