Happy Labor Day! As you know, Labor Day weekend is the official end of summer. And, apparently in these-here parts, we are going to kick it straight into winter. Because tomorrow’s forecast is for snow. The school even called to remind us to send our kids with snow pants and mittens. Oh my.
So today we went straight to the community garden to protect and/or harvest everything we could. But first, we celebrated the last real day of summer, with the most summery of drinks…A perfect strawberry smoothie. Made with strawberries from our eternally-frostless indoor Tub Garden.
A few months back I was saying how odd it is to be an indoor gardener in the thick of the summer growing season. But now that it’s about to snow in early September, I’m thinking I have made the right choices. I am very happy to have my Tub Garden which will carry on, despite our weird Rocky Mountain weather.
In that summer-time post, we compared a lot of our community garden plants grown outside, with those grown indoors – under lights – in our Tub Garden. Overall, the outside plants have gotten bigger and a bit more lush than all of their indoor counterparts. You just cannot compete with that amazing powerhouse that is the Sun.
But those outdoor plants are all about to die tomorrow. And except for the lettuce and radishes, most of them have not gotten a chance to bear any fruit yet. So I think it may be, advantage indoor garden. Game, set, match.
One thing we absolutely had to save from our community garden was our little strawberry plant. The heavy red fruits taste so good, and were so much fun to find peaking out from under the leaves. They never made it home because our boys fought over the one or two that were ripe – and ate them immediately – each time we visited. I dug it up today and brought it inside. Not into the Tub Garden, because I will not risk contaminating that with any live plants. We will try it in the living room, or a bedroom, and see how it does with some supplemental light.
The outside strawberry is a Bonnie Allstar, and we bought it as a live plant way back in May. It did differently than the indoor plant in the Tub Garden. I say differently, not better, because they are two totally different varieties of strawberry. The indoor Tub Garden strawberry plant was grown from seed. (As we always do, for our indoor garden’s biosecurity). It is an alpine variety so, by its nature, it makes lots of very small berries. It is much harder to find seeds for those larger-fruit bearing varieties. Those are typically sold as live plants, not as seeds. But, the indoor strawberry plant keeps making its fruits just a little bit bigger each time around. There were enough of them to harvest today that we could make two strawberry smoothies. And that is something the bigger-fruited, outside plant never got enough time in the season to do.
So, here is our strawberry smoothie recipe to celebrate your own home-grown strawberries. Whether you grow them outside or in. And because this is Labor Day and we don’t want to work too hard, this post is short and strawberry sweet.
Plus, that gives me time to get outside and start battening down the hatches for this Labor Day Snowstorm. Our gardening inside is starting to look a whole lot less crazy now, isn’t it?
Home-Grown Strawberry SmoothieCourse: Breakfast, Appetizer, DesertCuisine: Vegetarian, SmoothieDifficulty: Easy
This yummy summer smoothie is best with home-grown berries!
1 cup home-grown strawberries
1 cup frozen strawberries (instead of ice)
1 cup vanilla yogurt
juice from 1-2 oranges (squeezed)
3-4 kohlrabi or spinach leaves (optional)
1 Tbsp sugar (optional, to taste)
- Gather all the ingredients. Toss them into a blender.
- Blend on high speed until smooth. Taste, add sugar if needed, to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!