“Give me your hand…I promise it’s not anything weird.”
I reluctantly stepped away from my preparations for dinner and received a tiny, perfectly ripened strawberry from the Puja garden. As I bit into the ruby fruit and the juice enveloped my senses, I reveled in the arrival of strawberry season.
We found ourselves at quite an auspicious time when the little berries began popping up in our gardens. The full moon, aptly named the Strawberry Moon, coincided with the summer solstice which we celebrated with participants of our Regenerative Community Design Ecological Leadership Intensive. The revels at Metta Earth were a sight to behold with co-created ritual space and trips to the river ending with a candlelit song-filled night sinking our teeth into a luscious cake topped with our lovely Metta strawberries.
Though it may seem like a culmination, the solstice was just the beginning of our celebration of the little fruit. One thing which has continued to impact me since my arrival two months ago was the shift in lifestyle that moves with the seasons here at Metta Earth. Yes, with the local co-op we can fulfill any spontaneous special desires for treats or produce from local farms. However, as we try to eat food when it appears true to our seasonality in the mountain bowl of Lincoln, Vermont, we embrace immersion into the wheel of the year and the cycles of abundance and scarcity. Fresh strawberries in winter are not too hard to imagine for our modern supermarket-shopping society, but nothing can surpass the delight of food at its peak of perfection when its time truly comes. So, when we saw our little berries we knew it was time to go picking at the local patch, Last Resort Farm.
Team and participants of the Intensive spent a beautiful sunny morning plucking strawberries, with just the occasional taste-test for quality control. Over an hour later, our sticky red fingers and overflowing boxes told us that we had the perfect amount and we let the luscious sweet scent lull us into serenity on our way back.
Later that evening, we came together to process our berries to freeze for winter’s enjoyment. We could have made jams or jellies, sauces or smoothies, but in the cold wintery months nothing will be more delightful than taking out a bag of the whole fruits and remembering the sun-drenched mornings and golden-hued evenings when all we could smell was strawberries.
We didn’t freeze all our berries, though!
Such bounty offered itself up through many methods of enjoyment, and we would love to share some recipe ideas with you so you may celebrate the passing of the Strawberry Moon and this window of strawberry season with us.
1 lb fresh organic strawberries
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until thoroughly liquefied. Enjoy on fresh green salads, or by the spoonful!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
While this may seem like the obvious choice for strawberries, it is such a perfect combination as rhubarb is popping up so abundantly in our garden right now. There is a reason these two so often show up together- we’ve found nature to be our best guide for these kinds of things. There was even a little bake-off between myself and Russell. We found both pies equally as tasty and therefore can offer no clear victor, but we’d love to hear from you about your favorite strawberry recipe, be it a pie or other tasty concoction!
Ashley Nunez is a social media consultant for Metta Earth Institute. You can read more about her in the Metta Earth World Reach Team bios, or find her scribbling away and crafting concoctions at Gather & Roam.