April 18, 2010

Strawberries and Poisonberries

Last week's windstorm brought a windfall--literally; a falling spruce brought down a poplar, which was bad, but it gave me a harvest of buds for resin, which was good.  I had a lovely fragrant morning harvesting them, listening to the birds and the stirrings of spring.  I picked them until my fingers went numb and my shoulder spoke to me... The resin will go into salves and soap, and some just to be treasured for the delicious, wakening scent. 

The weather has been cooperative, neither a windstorm nor a snowstorm nor injury this week, and plant digging has finally begun again.  It looks like a good crop of Musk strawberries, and a few lucky customers will get to trial Cinnamon Strawberry 1.0... these are get of a clump of plants we discovered with fruit having decidedly cinnamon overtones.  Ask about them, they won't appear on the availability page.

Last fall's abrupt deepfreeze cost us a lot of things that we can usually winter in the greenhouse, so some plants will be in short supply this season, or off the list until next year.  This includes violets and primula, much to our sorrow. To try to fill these gaps, we've added more unusual fragrant annuals and snowbirds--including some scented geraniums and some dye plants.  Today I noticed the Pulsatilla are opening, as are the Hyacinths by the house, and the species tulips... I hope to have some for offer this autumn.

The Poisonberry vines (Schisandra chinensis) look to be coming along well, and as soon as they break dormancy, will be ready to ship.  If you haven't eaten these berries, you're missing out on a real treat.  Totally not poisonous, (this is a pet name for a berry with an unusual, assertive, tart flavor.) these are high in Vitamin C and redolent of citrus and conifer...rather like a lime juice/gin concoction.

I saved out a clump of violets and tomorrow I'll plant them at Mom's grave so she will always have flowers at her feet.