The Garden Plot: A trip to the strawberry patch – The Stokes News


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The scent of the wild honeysuckle mingled with the sweet aroma of strawberries emitting from fields of pick-your-own strawberry farms in Stokes County on a May morning is an experience to remember.
Whether you pick your own or buy them ready-picked, strawberry farms are a fun place to visit. There is something extra special about picking your own berries and being close to them and getting the stain and aroma on your fingertips!
The warm evenings evoke the fresh scent of the wild honeysuckle blossoms in the breeze. The blooms are things of beauty and daintiness and their unmistakable scent is a treat to the nostrils. Pick a bud vase of honeysuckle blossoms to being a sweet spring perfume indoors.
Starting a pot of coleus
Coleus, or Joseph’s Coat, will adorn any deck or porch with a coat of many colors: pink, cream, maroon, yellow, mint green, red, purple and lavender. As they continue to grow, they produce stems of very light purple flowers. When you continue to pinch these flowers off, more leaves begin to form and you will have plenty of foliage until the next frost.
Summer squash for sonkers
Sonkers are a tradition and a treat. My mother-in-law, a native of Surry County, made squash sonkers with a layer of biscuit dough and fresh summer squash, evaporated milk, butter, vanilla, sugar and thickened with corn starch. It was unforgettable and we still remember its wonderful flavor.
You can use many fruits and a few vegetables such as squash and sweet potatoes to make sonkers. We think squash make the best because they are so unique. The very first sonkers made way back when, were probably made from squash simply because they were so available and everyone had plenty of them.
The season for planting summer squash is almost here with the soil warming up. Several varieties of summer squash make better sonkers than others. The best varities for sonkers are the straight-necks simply because they are meaty with less moisture. Several varities that meet these conditions are Early Prolific Straight-necks, Saffron by Burpee Seed, Enterprise by Park Seed. These are all straight-neck varities and they can be split and seeds removed easily for a more tasty sonker: meaty, without seed or much water. Better squash make tastier sonkers. Long live the sonker!
Wave petunias
Of all the petunias, the wave variety is the best, especially the hot pinks. These waves are available in several colors including white. They produce bountiful hanging baskets of continual blooms that cascade over the sides of the baskets. You can also set several out in large pots or containers. Feed them with Flower-Tone organic flower food once each month. As they finish their bloom stage, pinch of spent blooms to promote new blooms. As the season advances, trim off long runners to strengthen blooms for a longer season.
Setting out tomato plants
It is still a little early for setting out the bulk of the tomato plants because nights are still inconsistent, but a few varities such as Early Girl, Celebrity and Oregon Spring can be set out for an early harvest. Set out only what you can cover for warmth at night. You will need just a few because in a few more weeks, you can set out the main harvest of tomatoes. You can stake the early tomatoes and cover with clear plastic bags.
New potatoes
Your Irish potatoes should now have plenty of lush green foliage and also some white blooms which signal that there are some new potatoes under the vines at the bottom of the hills. Do not disturb the hills, but scratch around and harvest one or two from several hills. Don’t peel them but place in a pot and cover with water. Boil until you can stick a fork through them. Add salt, pepper and butter, and serve with a bowl of green beans.
Total eclipse
A total eclipse on the moon will occur from 9: 26 p.m. Sunday until 1: 55 a.m. Monday. The length of the lunar event will be four hours and 19 minutes; totality will last one hour and 24 four minutes. The penumbra, which is the Latin word for “Shadow,” or the darkest part of the shadow where the light is completely blocked. The umbra is the area not only some but all the light is blocked.
Strawberry Cream Salad
2 qts. of fresh strawberries
2 3 oz. boxes strawberry Jello
2 cups water
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pint whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. strawberry flavoring.
Cap and cut strawberries into halves and add sugar. Dissolve Jello into boiling water and strawberry flavoring. Chill the Jello in refrigerator until it is slightly thickened, then stir in strawberries and cottage cheese. Beat whipping cream until thick. Add a tablespoon of sugar and fold into the Jello mixture. Pour into a bowl sprayed with baking spray. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Keep refrigerated. Makes eight servings.
One friend said to another friend, “You drive the car, and I will pray.” The driver said, “What’s the matter, don’t you trust my driving?” The other man said, “Don’t you trust my praying?”

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