Saturday, June 06, 2009


Being a yard less urbanite is fine in the winter (who wants to shovel snow). But I always feel cheated by the concrete come spring.  I grew up with a garden that attracted bees, fireflies, and humming birds. Fortunately, I inherited a plot in a community garden in May. Eager to partake in spring planting rituals, I bought seedlings for the rich, Who-filled soil. Tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, thyme, sage, dill, parsley, and hot peppers, at the insistence of my Indian mom, all found a place in the small plot.  

I felt content with my garden until I noticed a small patch of lime green plants in a neighboring plot. The deeply grooved leaves, which sat close to the ground, looked familiar. Strawberry plants! Why wasn't I trying to beckon summer's first fruit? A week later, white petaled flowers with  yellow centers graced the stems. I knew the blossoms would turn into glossy red berries - more fragrant and flavorful than the super-sized varieties shipped from California. Fearful of my weakness for their juicy flesh, I scheduled a trip to the farmer's market. 

June strawberries satisfy all the senses, whether dressed up (with cream or chocolate) or eaten right off the stem. In addition, they provide a healthy dose of dietary fiber, thanks to the tiny seeds polk-a-doting the outer flesh, and vitamin C. The one drawback: this exquisite fruit lingers around for about month. So don't waste time coveting your neighbor's patch. Visit your local farmer's market this week or schedule a trip to the closest U-Pick farm!