Wild strawberries in my backyard

Maybe it was a result of benign neglect, but I was stopped in my tracks yesterday while mowing the back edge of my yard. There at my feet was a small patch of bright red wild strawberries. There was just enough for a handful – but what a handful!

The aroma and the flavor instantly sent me back 50 years, to the time when we first moved here and wild strawberries were all over the cow pastures. The cows kept the grass short, and fertilized the soil. The strawberries thrived. I could fill a coffee can in less than an hour.

Wild strawberries are much smaller than their cultivated cousins, and as with all our wild berries they’re becoming scarce and harder to find.

The cows are long gone. The fields are still there, occasionally mown for hay. But even that happens only sporadically.

The strawberries have been choked out and disappeared, or so I thought. I’m going to be more careful about my mowing now, and with luck maybe they’ll spread.

This reminds me.

It’ll soon be time for wild blueberries, and I know I place where I can still pick them by the pailful. With all this rain, it could be a good year for them. Maybe later I’ll go scout them out.

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