I've never been an artist who chooses to do paintings based on a series, but I think I might be working on one right now. This is my second strawberry-inspired painting. If I do a third, I think that makes it a series!
I wrote in my last post, that my strawberry picking adventure brought back so many long forgotten memories. It really did. I know that I got my love for gardening from my mother; she the main gardener in my family. Being at her side as her little partner, she taught me so much that I never even knew I was learning.
I love the vegetables that I harvest, but my garden now is kind of... cute. My parents' garden was for food production; cute was never part of their plan.
We had long rows of corn, beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables along the side of our house, but in the back, beside the peach trees, we had a strawberry patch. Every memory that comes to mind involves being bent over, (You do a lot of bending over in a strawberry patch.) I was a little thing, but I knew to put the runners back into the soil bed and out of the path. I knew not to bother the little yellow and white blooms. I knew that if I didn't bother the bees, they wouldn't bother me. I knew to gently check under the big three leaf greenery. I knew not to pick the almost red ones yet. As I got older, I knew to walk slowly down the row with the water hose. I knew to use a grapefruit spoon to cap the leaves off the top when we were getting them ready to freeze. I also knew how much sugar to pour on them. (But, I have to say that I have tried to un-learn that.) And, I learned that the best way to eat a strawberry is when it's still warm from the sun... before it's been cooled or cut or washed... I know that horrifies some... a quick blow gets (most of) the dirt off and leaves 100% of the flavor.
I also remember that she often gave me a piece of Juicy Fruit gum to chew whenever we were about to go out and pick. Yum!! That was always a treat... or... wait... was it a trick to keep me from eating the berries as I picked!
My mama is 89. Last week I sat on the porch with her one afternoon. She rocked and I peeled peaches for about three hours. She asked me, "What did you learn when you were growing up with me?" I thought of enough things that it pretty much filled the afternoon with conversation.
Thank you to Reagan Family Farms for bringing back such sweet memories.
Click if you'd like to purchase "Strawberry Ice Cream."
And while you're clicking, check out my niece's blog, Adventures in Our Urban Landscape. She's the next-generation gardener, and I think she's found the balance between food production, beauty, and heritage.
Imagine how much her kids are learning!
I wonder if she gives them Juicy Fruit when they help pick... I'll have to ask. :)