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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Fête de Fraise

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fête de Fraise
Strawberry  Celebration
at my house over fresh-picked strawberries.

It's strawberry season!
Nothing tastes as wonderful as freshly picked fruits and vegetables.

Gnismer Farms is a family-run produce farm in 
the heart of Arlington, Texas
where families come to 

Sunday afternoon I joined the fun and picked fresh strawberries.
Most pickers had their children with them.
Mom: "There's a nice red one."
Son: "I see it."
Mom: "Was it sweet?"
Son: "um-hu"

Bursting with flavor...

I didn't find any really big strawberries because 
I arrived late afternoon just before closing.
Families had been picking this field all week-end.
But the smaller berries are packed with concentrated flavor...

Reminds me of French strawberries...
Small, sweet, bursting flavor in your mouth...

The last time I was in France I had to mail home some packages.
Of course I did, too many purchases to fit into the suitcase.
That's when I saw this beautiful Fête du timbre, 
the 2011 Collection Historique du Timbre-Poste Français
honoring strawberries.

Of course, I had to make a few more purchases
right there in the La Poste (post office).
Let's see, the actual strawberry stamp and 
the collector's edition large folded card
on heavy white cardstock.
They don't weigh much, and they will fit 
in my suitcase.

Oh, so beautiful.  Soft full color drawings on front and back of the card...
The individual stamp is part of a larger piece of paper with a
botanical line drawing of a strawberry plant on the front.

But wait, turn over the stamp.  
On the back of the actual stamp is a sliced strawberry.
Now, who's going to see that when the letter is mailed?
Only the French would include such a 
delicious detail.
I wonder if the stamp glue tastes like strawberries?
I'll never know; I'm not licking my souvenir stamp.

But, I am licking my fingers as I put the strawberries on this birdie bowl.
Sweet juices from ripe strawberries at their peak...

This little vignette will not last long.  
The strawberries will be gone in a flash.

And so will Gnismer Farms...  
The owners told me this is their last year at this site.
They are moving to a new place about two hours south.
Bittersweet weekend...
Savoring the scrum-dilly-umptious hand-picked berries,
but sad to know there will be none next year.

I will save the cardboard strawberry picking box
as a reminder of good times, 
of a little bit of France right here at home, and
of the end of an era.
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