Since I was in my twenties I have been fascinated by the idea of growing enough strawberries to make ice cream. I have had strawberries in every garden, and at every home I've had, and until now I have not been successful. I credit my Golden Retriever, Electra for selecting a strain that seems to love my garden.
I spent a long time living on the coast in Northern California. It is cold and foggy and while the vines grew well, there were never many berries. When I moved back to Southern California, I thought the sunshine would make growing berries no problem, and I was right however my Golden really liked to dig up the strawberry plants themselves — which was extra frustrating as I have them all in containers.
Initially, I bought four or five different strains. She left one strain alone but destroyed the others. Over the past three years, I have used runners from the plant she allowed to survive to fill two Earthboxes, two terraced terra cotta strawberry pots, and three plain ol' pots. As the plants grew to maturity, Pretzel, my Cavalier, and Electra were eating enough berries that I only had a few left for myself, or my guests. Last week I realized there were not just a few berries there for picking, but I had somehow developed a legit harvest. Around two pints of berries were picked, and so I took out the ice cream maker and got to work.
I make my ice creams with the Ben and Jerry's recipies as a starting point, strawberry is here. I tend to put more berries in the sugar/lemon juice mix and let them turn into syrup before I blend them. Like two thirds of the available berries get the treatment, while the other third goes into the blender and churn with the base.
The tomatoes in the back ground of one photo became this:
Friends came over for pizza night and ice cream. Worked out great.