Wednesday, September 2, 2009

strawberries and delayed gratification

My past experience with Seascape everbearing strawberries has been that the plants are easy to grow, produce abundantly, and that the berries taste magnificent. My CSA members in Berkeley would pronounce our strawberries the best they had ever tasted. This is not a variety widely grown for production because of the fragility of the berries, but when sweetness and flavor are of the utmost importance, usually for a small grower, nothing beats the Seascape in my opinion. So of course when we bought our own house, and with a 2-year-old berry-lover to think of, I planted them again.

Early on in June, I let go control of the harvest and allowed Sam to pick and eat and learn with minimal direction from me. I guided him to look around the whole berry to make sure it was all red and ready, and after picking a few that were barely pink, he now makes sure only to pick ones that are truly ripe. With only 6 container plants, Sam eats almost all of our strawberries himself, which is just fine with me.

Recently Sam has been picking strawberries and declaring that he must "save it for breakfast and put it in the refridgerator." So he runs inside with his berry (or handful of berries) and deposits it on the top shelf of the fridge. The next morning, he eats them cut up in his oatmeal. This has been going on for a few weeks now.

I am reminded of an interesting article I read recently about children and self-control. Simply put, studies show that children who are able to delay gratification early in life can have greater success as adults. If I hadn't provided Sam the guided freedom to pick his own strawberries, I wonder if he would have expressed this ability to save them.

As far as the Seascapes go, I think they do much better in a more coastal climate. I find our productivity and flavor to be not quite as amazing, and the plants that are doing the best are the ones with the longest shade period. I will try some additional varieties next year.


Miriam said...

Hi Sharon!
Wonderful strawberries! Thanks for all your stories about your garden and your "Little Gardener"! Sam's enthusiasm is heart warming!

A Country Farmhouse said...

What beautiful strawberries! What a wonderful summer treasure for Sam. Trina

Anonymous said...

Strawberries for Mommy. Fresh picked by Sam on foggy mornings and quiet evenings.

Sam's XY