Strawberries by J. Dean


A bumper crop gave us jam, bread, and fresh fruit for weeks

John Dean
Published in
3 min readJun 20, 2021


If I had a choice between giving up red meat or strawberries, the red berries would win. They are delightful, versatile, beautiful, and, for us, difficult to grow. Until this year, that is.

Over the years, I have tried to grow strawberries several times. It looked easy. Buy some plants, put them in the ground, water and weed them, and wait for the berries. Simple enough.

Strawberry blossoms may not lead to strawberries by J. Dean

Some years the plants didn’t want to grow, despite my nurturing them. I tried special soil and sought expert advice on the web. I found the advice but, judging by results, often misapplied it. One year produced hundreds of strawberry blossoms but only one or two tiny, misshapen berries. I ate one of them immediately after picking it, leaving only one as that year’s official harvest. As Trump used to tweet, “Sad!”

At the end of each year, I tried to figure out what went wrong. For the following year’s garden, I tried to apply the lessons. Sometimes there was progress, such as all my plants surviving the season and producing at least a few berries.



John Dean

Writing on politics, photography, nature, the environment, dogs, and, occasionally, humor. Editor of Dean’s List.