This is the first year of eating our own strawberries from the garden and the thrill of finding new bright red berries among the leaves is definitely worth the year-long wait before you get fruit. Yesterday was the first real harvest and we ate half of it before I could take this picture. The plants look lovely, very upright and vibrantly green.
Apparently, the deer think the plants look like dinner. We went out yesterday to find that all the tops of the outermost row of plants had been munched. This has happened often enough in my life as a gardener that I no longer experience the sense of utter despair that first came when I discovered that a groundhog thought my unfenced garden was his pasture of plenty but it still makes me grind my teeth. We knew it was coming and we knew we were tempting fate by not putting a fence up right away. So here we are, contemplating a Saturday of digging post holes and running fence line instead of the bike ride we had planned.
But those strawberries are worth it. We made drinks yesterday afternoon with dark rum and tonic and mashed strawberries and swung in the hammock that Ralph gave me for my birthday while we enjoyed them. The strawberries soaked up the rum and were just about the best part of the day. We might try strawberry mojitos this evening- the mint plant on the deck is growing so fast I almost expect to see it unfurling new leaves as I watch. We'll deserve it after digging all those post holes.