As many of you know, Mike and I live in the Convivium Farmhouse, the yellow house right next door to Convivium. So it was important to us when we remodeled the house in 2015 to incorporate a landscape design that not only looks good, but was also in keeping with the principles and ideas that we are trying to teach through Convivium. Mainly, that with some forethought, you can grow A LOT of food in small space and make it look good too.
Luckily, we have AJ to help us with all of this, because as eager as we are, he is much, much more knowledgeable in this arena than we are. It’s important to note that we have a very small yard – a small patch in front of the porch and then on the side, the rest is taken up with our side deck, so when we say our entire yard is edible, we aren’t really talking about that much space. That said, we are able to produce a lot of food year after year.
We have broken up our yard into some distinct areas and planted a mixture of perennial fruits, fruit trees and herbs (those that come back year after year) and annual vegetables (those we have to replant every year).
Strawberry Hedge This hedge is right along the sidewalk in front of the house. We planted it with two varieties of ever-bearing strawberries — Toscana and Berri Basket Hot Pink. These plants have been prolific, even the very first season we grew them. Because they are ever-bearing, they do not produce a ton of berries all at once, but rather produce berries throughout the entire growing season. So we are enjoying fresh strawberries from this patch from mid- to late June all the way through the first hard frost in the fall.
The Best Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
Yield: 15 muffins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1/3 c. canola oil
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 c. flour
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¾ c. chopped rhubarb
¾ c. shopped strawberries
Raw sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease or line muffin pan. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix oil, egg, milk and vanilla by hand or with a mixer until well blended.
Add dry ingredients to the large bowl and mix until well incorporated. Fold in strawberries and rhubarb.
Fill muffin cups ½-2/3 full of batter and sprinkle tops with raw sugar. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean.
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