An English In Kentucky



















August 21st 2009

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    Strawberries are running in a dramatic way.  Almost as though the sports believe that somewhere there is perfect soil.  Usually by this time in August the older plants have settled into sluggish resignation.  They sit there in bad temper, contemplating decline and then sometime around frost they start to cheer at the prospect of winter.

    I will tell you now they are a most cantankerous plant, and those of my own species who beam at the mention of their name have in my view only ever met them at a breakfast table upon which there is a white table cloth.  

   Perhaps in that ethereal place where species were decided, the strawberry was designed by committee to encourage the future needs of those gardeners who would give up on soil altogether.  The hydroponic crew striving for an idiom of perfection through appearance only.



    It is a temptation because at some future time, when the wretched have no where else to go, we will be put into Arks and dispatched to the four corners of our galaxy.  Our kitchens will be supplied with giant and perfect fruits from the laboratory.  Through the light years we will feast on strawberry products and as new colonists we will arrive frail and pink and hungry for meat, and what a surprise we will get.

    There are some who insist it was in this manner we ourselves reached the planet earth.   And when I hear praise of strawberries during those nine months of the year during which strawberry plants lie at death's door, I am moved to include myself in this delusion. 

    Meanwhile in the vegetable garden regular rotation is a necessary prerequisite to that three month period of relative strawberry contentment.  So while the youngsters watch I will soon be euthanizing their old and crippled parents.  And why?  Because pandering to the white table cloth has always been a grizzly business.

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tim candler

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(Strawberries in Kentucky)  (Verticillium Wilt)  (British Strawberries)