poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘wild strawberries

wild strawberries to pick

with 4 comments

In the field around our cabin, the wild strawberries are ready for picking. Red, sweet, delicious.





‘wild strawberries’ Jane Tims 2016


If you love picking berries, or eating those first dew-covered berries of summer, you will like my book of poems about gathering and eating wild local foods.

‘within easy reach’ is published by Chapel Street Editions in Woodstock, New Brunswick. The book is illustrated with my drawings and includes lots of information about each wild plant mentioned. The book is available here at Chapel Street Editions or here at


For another of my posts about wild strawberries, and a poem about picking wild strawberries, look here.


Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

remembering spring – wild strawberries

with 2 comments

I have completed one of the paintings I am preparing for my fall sale of books and paintings. This painting is of the wild strawberries growing at our cabin property.



July 31, 2016 ‘wild strawberries’ (acrylic, gallery edges, 10″ X 8″) Jane Tims


I hope when you see these paintings, they will remind you of the berry-picking seasons to come!


Copyright 2016 Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

August 1, 2016 at 7:00 am

Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana Duchesne)

with 16 comments

Soon, the fields at our summer place will be jeweled with Wild Strawberries.

Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana Duchesne) grows in open woodlands, fields and barrens.  It is also known as Virginia Strawberry, Common Strawberry and, in French, fraisier.   The name Fragaria comes from the Latin word for strawberry, fraga meaning fragrance.

The leaves of Wild Strawberry grow on slender stalks, and occur in threes.  They are hairy and coarsely toothed.   Plants are stoloniferous, meaning they produce ‘stolons’ or runners, freely-rooting basal branches.

The flower of the Wild Strawberry is white, with five petals and numerous stamens and pistils.  Right now, our fields are spangled with them.  The flowers occur in an open cluster of two or more flowers.  In this species, the flower stalk is not longer than the leaf stalk.

The berries are red and ovoid, covered with small pits and seeds.  They are more delicate and sweeter than the domestic strawberry.  They appear in late June and may last until August, but the best berry-picking is at the first of summer.

In the book ‘The Blue Castle’ by Lucy Maude Montgomery, the heroine says one of her greatest pleasures is to eat berries directly from the stem:

Here they found berries … hanging like rubies to long, rosy stalks. They lifted them by the stalk and ate them from it, uncrushed and virgin, tasting each berry by itself with all its wild fragrance ensphered therein. When Valancy carried any of these berries home that elusive essence escaped and they became nothing more than the common berries of the market-place–very kitchenly good indeed, but not as they would have been, eaten in their birch dell …

(from L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle, Chapter 30, McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1972)


The berries of the Wild Strawberry are delicious in jam.  The leaves also make a fragrant tea, high in Vitamen C.  To make the tea, put a handful of green leaves into two cups of boiling water, steep, strain and enjoy!



too early to pick


last week of June

roadside red with leaves

and ripening wild

strawberries hang

still green except

where sepal contrast

shows sweet berry


patience, wait

a few days and every berry

ripe and a thimble pot

of berry jam


can’t wait?

sour green flesh

grit of tiny seed



Copyright  Jane Tims 2012

1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

Niche: poetry and prose about place

with 9 comments

wild strawberries

In biology, ‘niche’ refers to the space occupied by a plant or an animal. ‘Niche’ is the sum total of the habitat needs of a plant or animal – physical, nutritional, and biological. For example, the wild strawberries in our field grow where the moisture, sunlight and soil are just right. ‘Niche’ also includes the role the wild strawberries play in the ecosystem, the way its fruit and leaves provide food for insects, field mice and birds.
In human terms, ‘niche’ can be a metaphor for personal space, home, or community. My best space to live is in the country, where I can garden, be near to woods and water, and escape from urban noise. When I am in my right ‘niche’, I contribute best to my family and to the community where I live.
In my experience, ‘niche’ is not stagnant but changes, hour to hour, day to day, season to season. One way of looking at the timeline of life is to think of it as a sequence of niche-spaces lived-in, sought after, avoided, encountered, or discovered.
The place where I am also influences how I feel. Stress occurs when ‘niche’ does not quite fit. Comfort is discovering a space answering all my ‘niche-needs’. Sadness is in trying to return to a space once occupied but no longer available. Conflict can occur when I have trouble sharing my space with others.
Contentment is finding and inhabiting a space that is, if not perfect, at least mine.
This blog space will be devoted to poetry and prose about ‘niche’. I’ll include poems and stories about human space: home and away, past and present. I’ll write to explore some of the place-based themes I love: laughing and talking with friends, growing and gathering food, wandering in forest and field, and travelling to other places. Because I am a biologist, I’ll also write about wild plants and animals, and the spaces where they live and interact with one another.
Visit often, because I love to write and I’ll have regular updates. For now, tell me about your best place, your ‘niche’, the place where you belong.

Written by jane tims

July 30, 2011 at 9:05 pm

%d bloggers like this: