Sunday, 27 June 2010

Smelling like a strawberry field

Despite having wild strawberries growing in pots, these are the only two regular strawberries I've harvested from the containers. As lovely and tasty as they were, I don't think I am due to get many more. So it is onto plan B. Pick your own (PYO) from a local farm.
This PYO farm is near Glasgow Airport. A few years ago, before I had an allotment plot. I had taken my nephews here and we picked loads of strawberries to eat with cream. I am pleased to say that both my nephews actually stated it being one of their favourite and most enjoyable days out. This time between D and myself, we managed to pick just under 2kg of fat, ripe and juicy strawberries.
I also wanted some vegetables and the farms broccoli was not ready yet. D suggested instead of us going to the farmers market, we venture a little further to Geilston Gardens. The last time we went there was for the Easter weekend. D remembered that they were due to begin selling some fruit and vegetables from their walled garden to the public. Geilston Garden does not actually have a shop, the volunteers display whats been harvested on the day, as well as plants on an open stall with the prices listed. You take what you want and put the coins or notes into the 'Honesty box'.
While we were there, we took a walk around the gardens. I came across a rose bush that was covered with bees. The bees were really lively, so it was difficult to capture them on camera, unlike those I've pictured in the past looking rather sleepy. Not only were these particular bees lively, if you CLICK on the image, you will see that the bee seems to be carrying a yellow sack on its side. I am sure its obvious what this is, but I don't want to assume, so would like someone to confirm it. So if any one of you wonderful and far more knowledgeable readers know what this actually is, please dolet me know. I would really appreciate it. This was not the only bee carrying these yellow sacks, pretty much all of them were. Bizzy workers.
I wanted to see the walled vegetable garden as the last time we visited nothing was planted. What a difference a couple of months make.
As well as comparing notes, I also took interest in the vegetables that were not growing on my little patch such as these green courgettes.
and reddy spinach.
I came back home with some strikingly gorgeous purple kale and bites of broccoli, as well as the strawberries.
About 1kg of them were swiftly turned into strawberry jam. The others await edible transformation - that is of course if we don't pick and eat them every time we visit the refrigerator.


  1. Strawberries look very plumpy and delicious.Nice pictures of the farm.The bees look really lively.Is that yellow sack - pollen ?

  2. The strawberries have left me salivating!

  3. Beautiful photographs--I especially love the last one. Nice post, sounds like fun!

  4. Fresh strawberries always bring a smile to my face, Mango, as does this lovely post of yours. The jam looks grand.

  5. I love the idea of the honesty box. I spend my summers in a small town in Maine and there are a lot of roadside berry stands where you simply pull over, grab a carton of berries, place cash in the "honesty box", and be on your way. You rarely actually see the person selling the berries. I love the trust that goes into it, and you know that they haven't been ripped off too bad yet because they do it year after year! Where I live (city area) if someone tried to do that I guarantee you both the produce and the honesty box would be gone before you could say the word "integrity". :(

    I'm very jealous of your strawberry supply!

  6. Well your two strawberries look lovely. I haven't grown any for a few years and I do miss them. I'd love to have enough to make some jam, but don't know of any pick your own around here.

  7. What a pleasant trip this seemed to have been. I love the look of your two strawberries. Sorry there wasn't more.

    I can't say what the tiny sack is on the bee, but it's such a lovely picture, can see the wings in motion and all. Great post.

  8. Wow! Strawberry jam! Nice! I can not wait to go pick strawberries!

  9. What an enchanting and adorable post!

    I can't wait for next weekend...I may just have a date with the strawberry fields ;O)

    Thanks for sharing your mini-excusion.
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  10. Those abundant vegetables and glossy strawberries are so inspiring to the cook. Your jam turned out beautifully!

  11. What beautiful strawberries! I wish we had those type of farms here. We just have pineapple fields :)

  12. WOW, you've really inspired me to take a visit to one of the local pick your own farms. It's really nice to know there is a Plan B if your own crops don't work out. When we made homemade strawberry jam, it was the tastiest I had ever had. Hope yours is too.

  13. Hi Mangocheeks!
    The yellow thing is the adorably named Pollen basket or scopa (not as cute though), a sort of hairy area on the leg of pollen gathering bees. Bees brush the pollen that has collected on their head & body with a foreleg, then compact the little bundle of pollen & secure it in the pollen basket.

    Hope you had a lovely weekend, and there's something in the post for you!

  14. Well, your strawberry harvest beat mine - we only had one. I dream of one day growing enough to make jam, and have some leftover for eating as is (maybe with a little cream). Your garden looks spectacular and I'm already envying your corn crop (one of my favorite all time veggies).

  15. Ohh its been too long since I had fresh strawberries, so much better than the store bought ones!
    Those courgettes look great! I didnt know that they actually grew from the main stalk of the plant, I thought they grew like cucumbers :)


  16. Oh yum, those strawberries look delicious! Enjoy them!

  17. gorgeous photos - we have watched the bees in the citrus trees in the yard when they are in flower and they do get the little yellow sacks expanding - amazing to watch nature at work

  18. Ooh lovely. That jam looks very lovely, I must make some. I have always thought those yellow sacks were where the bees collected the pollen, so now I am intrigued to see if you get a professional's knowledge on the matter.

  19. Geilston Gardens seems a wonderful place to spend a few hours or more and I love that they have an honesty box. The reddy spinach is really pretty and interesting; have not seen that over here. The strawberry photos just make me hungry)))..the reds so luscious.

  20. yum, everything looks delicious. Love the cute little keeper of the jam.


    Thanks Kiran.
    Yes, I think you right the that yellow sacks - pollen - I just wanted confirmation.

    Oh good Fay.
    I think that a good impact.

    Thank you Green Gal.
    The strawberry fairy wanted to make her debut with the Scottish seasonal strawberries. There are another four waiting for their turn.

    Thank you Barbara.
    These strawberries tasted like strawberries too. once I have gotten through these, i'll be going back for more.

    Thanks Mo.
    I haven't come across many places in Scotland that have an honesty box, this is the second i've seen. I agree its such a wonderful idea built around trust.

    Like you, I kinow where I live (city area as well) it just would not work. Unfortunately too many dishonest, selfish and greedy people:( who as you say would take the money and all of the produce. But on the positive, its good to know that there are some places where the honesty box would work.

  22. Thank you So much Choclette.
    I know you tend to travel a little, so maybe on your way somewhere you'll note a PYO farm. Otherwise, You may just have to pick some up at the grocery store and make some jam at home.

    By the way is there a reason, you haven't grown them.

    Thanks Eve.
    Yeah, I'm sorry that there were only two strawberries - but they were tasty.

    I'm pleased you like the bee picture. I love my camera (sometimes).

    Thanks Vic aka HayMarket8.
    Happy Strawberry picking whenever it happens.

    Thanks Foodessa.
    I hope the weather is kind for you next weekend, so that you do get your 'date' at thee strawberry fields.

  23. Thank you Belle.

    Thank you so much Carissa.
    Some of us living in colder climates would love to be surrounded by pineapple fields :)

    Hi Moy of reapwhatyougrow.
    I have to agree its good to have Plan B and even better having a PYO nearby.

    I have no doubt the homemade strawberry jam will be tasty.

    Hello littleblackfox.
    Thank you so much for your explanation of the yellow sacks. I thought they were pollen, but just wanted some expert confirmation. So your input has been really appreciated and I am a little wiser too.

    I really did have a lovely weekend. And gues what I received a little something in the post! Gratefully appreciated.

  24. Oh Monica.
    I did not think anyone could beat my record of two strawberries, but you have. Shame. Ihope your dream to grow enough for homemade jam comes true - one day.

    Sadly the vegetable pictures in this post are not mine. I too was envying the corn crop. I've never been able to grow them myself.

    Hello Rose.
    Its beena long while since i heard from you. Do hope your well and keeping busy with the job, but also having fun when your away from work.

    Before I started growing courgettes, I too thought they grew like cucumbers too:)

    Sooz the strawberries are delicious - still eating them from the fridge, especially the ones that have gone soft!

    Thank you Johanna.
    Bees are fascinating. We have three (I think)that have made our garden their home. I find them quite therapeutic to watch, a bit like birds drinkign from the water bath, a bit like fish swimming in a water tank ...

  25. Thanks Kath.
    A fellow blogger (above) has confirmed that the yellow sacks are where the bees collect the pollen, so you were right.

    Geilston Gardens is a lovely little place. If the weather is good, you certainly could spend a few hours there. The honesty box is a wonderful touch.

    I think the reddy spinach may also be known as strawberry spinach. If you click on the picture, you will note some berries, but I am not too sure. I have some strawberry spinach growing in garden plot,but it is neither red or filled with berries.

    Thanks Wendy.
    The keeper of the jam has four other sisters.

  26. Hi Mangocheeks - no specific reason for not growing strawberries in our new plot other than haven't really got around to thinking where we would put them. Have been concentrating on the veg so far, but as I keep coming across all these strawberry jam posts am thinking maybe I should get around to it for next year. I guess you'd have to have a lot of plants though to produce enough for jam.

  27. In my first year at the allotment, I too didn't grow any strawberries. It was only in the third year when i had transplanted a whole bed with strawberries 9about a dozen plants) and was able to make jams and much more. Hopefully, you'll get roudn to setting up a strawberry bed too.

  28. Yay! I take back anything bad I ever said about Royal mail!
    Hope you have fun messing about with them!

  29. littleblackfox.
    While i was writing you an e mail, you were leaving this comment. Funny.


  30. Oh my gosh, silly me. When you said "my little plot" I thought the following pictures were from your garden. I was thinking "that doesn't look very little!" Now it makes more sense. =)

  31. Monica,
    That's okay. I wish I did have a plot this size.

  32. Nothing beats fresh strawberries during the summer. YUM. I actually made my dinner on Monday totally based around strawberries.

  33. Thanks Heather.

    All my supply is now gone. May have to go strawberry picking again!


If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

Thank You