This year I even have an assistant to help me with the picking of the strawberries. Although he mainly took bites out of the berries and then flung them into the lawn, he certainly enjoyed picking them. The shovel is the latest thing he likes to carry around when he's outside. Mostly he bangs on the plants, but every once in awhile he'll actually start to dig something up.
Pardon the bad lighting. The sun was starting to set, and I couldn't get any good shots. But you can see Nick showing off the big strawberry he picked. Our strawberry patch started out as a square foot garden (4 feet by 4 feet) that I started in 2007. I had two itty bitty strawberry plants in one square, and I think I harvested maybe ten berries in all. The next summer I was pregnant with Nick and I didn't feel like gardening, so the strawberries took over, along with a catnip plant that provides joy for my furry friends. I pruned the catnip down to a more manageable level (because how many pounds of drugs do my cats really need?) and let the strawberries go wild.
My harvest this year has been excellent, but it's hard work keeping up with all of the berry picking. I've actually filled a container this size every two to three days for the last week. These are just the ones the birds haven't touched. I love anything perennial, because if you forget about it for a year, it thrives.
It's kind of nice to have a garden helper this year. I've noticed that Nick totally copies whatever I do. He hasn't figured out what makes a ripe berry, however, so he just randomly pulls berries off and throws them into the bowl. Then he claps for himself, and I tell him "Good job!" But that's not bad, considering that this time last year he just sat in the grass and drooled while staring at his toes.