May 1, 2014

Water Your Plants by Rinsing Your Fruit

The kids love them.  Daddy puts them on his Cheerios.  The chickens get the stems.  And I use them as an edible barrier between me and the pantry where we keep the chocolate chips.  It's strawberry season!

Because California has something like 40,000¹ acres of strawberries, spread across two different climates, we can get strawberries late March to early Fall.

But wait!  Enter 11,000 acres grown during the moist and not-too-cold winters of Florida and you'll find berries after Christmas too.

But at my house, you really know it's strawberry season when they start drifting south of $3/pound and don't look nasty.

As good as they are, I don't grow my own berries because New Mexico is too dry and too cold then quickly too hot and I don't have time to baby my babies let alone my garden.

Strawberries thrive in cool, moist climates.  Since they like those wetter climates they are susceptible to fungus and fungus means:  no shortcake on Memorial Day.  

Because of this, that shiny coat you see on your conventional berries?  It's totally fungicide.  That porous skin sucks in the poison so well that strawberries are on every Dirty Dozen (or Dirty Dozen Plus or Dirty Baker's Dozen) list I was able to Google in ten minutes (and that's allota time for an internet search, non?).

But I don't buy my strawberries organic.

Why?  Probably because when I go grocery shopping all I can see is...


So what do I do? 

I wash them.  

I wash the CRAP out of them.

And when I do, I reuse the water.

Godspeed little guy.

I put 'em in a colander which sits in a bowl and give a good rinse.  Then if I'm able to dedicate more than 30 seconds to one project before a child, the cell phone or my ADD forces my attention elsewhere, I'll take the bowl and dump it on a lucky chlorophyll-full friend.  This week I've chosen the newly-planted blue plumbago I'm hoping will outgrow the grass in my front yard.  But he's also hopelessly outnumbered by the spring weeds I have yet to kill.

If you keep a bowl or bucket in your sink all day, I bet you'll be amazed at how much water you go through.  Awareness, in this case, is our Zero Waste Win.

¹  So I don't get called out, this site says 40,000 acres.  But then this other site says it's only half that.  Cali, it's your call but I'm guessing you've got other things to worry about.  Like wildfires.  And who's going to buy the Clippers.


  1. We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.

    1. Golda's right. Our new victory is watching the apricots out-smart the last freeze of the year.