Project #138 – Strawberry Veils

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the first strawberry of spring. Strawberry season for our garden lasts only a few short weeks, but all of the work is worth it for the plentiful, sweet, red-all-the-way-through berries. I check every day for berries once they start to blush. Only this year every time I find a half ripe strawberry the red half has already been eaten away by a nefarious combination of ants and beetles. A liberal application of boric acid (safe for anything the doesn’t have an exoskeleton) did nothing to stop them.

I spent three days in a row expecting to find a berry that I could finally eat myself, and only to find each eligible one collapsed and chewed up. I always lose a few every year to pests, the price of not using poisons (but worth it because I get to squat in garden every year eating sun-warmed fruit straight off the plant), but losing 100% of my harvest several days is a row sucks. These are my strawberries! Mine!

Fed up, and unwilling to use meaner chemicals I decided to go low tech. I cut squares of black tulle and spent and hour crawling around the strawberry patch looking for any berries giving the barest hint that they were ready to ripen. I fastened each with a rubber band.

I checked back after a day and I was relieved to see that my solution worked. I wish it was a little less tedious to check and cover each strawberry, but the slight ache in my back was worth it. I was worried about having enough to make my husband’s annual rhubarb-strawberry pie, but I think I’ll have enough after two days of veiled strawberries.

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