Strawberry Moon

Guess what —every full moon has a name, not just the harvest full moon in September.

The June full moon is called the strawberry moon, and it is happening this very night!  Or anyway this week. It turns out it’s kind of squishy to actually know when the moon is perfectly full. Well and there are different names for the June full moon too. Like rose moon, which I also like. But today I’m calling it the strawberry moon so just go with that okay?

Strawberry moon

Here is the  strawberry moon last night, getting ready. 

I love strawberries, almost as much as I love the moon—-a great combination of images. Which is why “strawberry moon” is the name of countless businesses and record albums and drinks and other marketable things.

But first it was just a moon, shining when the wild strawberries were ripe in this part of the world, and ready for people to pick.

In my gardens I grow the Pacific Northwest native berry called the beach or coastal strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis. It has shiny dark leaves, pretty white blooms and tiny edible berries which actually aren’t ready yet so I guess its moon setting is off a bit, although it seems the full moon names originated in the eastern part of the country so that could explain it.

The beach strawberry loves sun and is the most perfect low evergreen groundcover.

coast strawberry groundcover

Fragaria chiloensis, beach strawberry

There are mean rumors that the beach strawberry is too agressive and even uncontrollable and should not be allowed into civilized gardens.

Of course I quite like the plant and have no complaints at all.

There is another native Oregon berry, the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), and I have a descendent of it called “Mignonette” which cools the roots of a twinflower shrub (Linaea borealis).

woodland strawberry

Fragaria vesca, woodland strawberry

This deciduous plant is taller and has slightly bigger berries than the evergreen beach one, and when I grew it beneath roses the roses didn’t like it or maybe the strawberry was framed, I don’t know. (I must stop watching those episodes of Scandal.)

My efforts at growing standard strawberries have never produced much, especially when the deer got in, but now I have a pot of a couple plants. I bought them early this spring in a fit of being little–you know when something zings out of your childhood memory and suddenly you are little? These cute plants are making a few berries which I mosey by and munch with great happiness.

But when they are not enough—-when the time comes for serious strawberries…

strawberries for sale…I turn to the friendly lady with the booth in the hardware store parking lot…

best strawberry source

…and I buy the lovely sweet fragrant berries just out of an Oregon field, picked that very day.

boxes of berries

I keep going back to buy more, like a true strawberry junkie. I have 35 little jars of freezer jam stashed now (a couple years’ worth).

And oh those warm strawberry scones with summer breakfast coffee in the sunshine of the front porch!

strawberry scone breakfast

For the scones I use the recipe found at the Confessions of a Tart blog (love that title) except I add a teaspoon of vanilla because vanilla makes the food world go round —-along with chocolate, brandy and coffee. And ginger. Well I suppose there’s more stuff but vanilla is really important and a great addition to what was already a fabulous recipe. 

Of course we have strawberry daiquiris with rum (recalls to me my pirate incarnation) and strawberries on granola, strawberries on shortcake, strawberries on waffles…but mostly we just eat the berries, deep red and sweet, the taste of Oregon summer.

So anyway I do hope the night sky is clear at your house this week, and that the strawberry moon lights up your garden.

Strawberry moon














About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in cooking, Pacific Northwest native plants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Strawberry Moon

  1. Cathy says:

    Ohl Linnie, you brightened my day again! Strawberry Scones…… I HAVE to make some!

    • linniew says:

      Hi there Kathy!
      Strawberry scones are much less difficult than they are fabulous so yes you must have some.

      If I had a Star-trekkian transporter machine I would just show up in your kitchen, berries in hand, ready to begin the baking 🙂

  2. kininvie says:

    Well, it’s pitch black here in Scotland and no sign of a moon. And the strawbeeries are still only just flowering, and they have thistles growing through them, so thank you for cheering me up with the wonderful pictures of your strawberry lady and her boxes of fruit. When I say ‘cheer me up’, I mean, of course, ‘make me green with envy’

    • linniew says:

      Well Kininvie I’m glad you get a little dark at night, so close to midsummer and you so far north… Please be assured that I will gaze at the moon for you which I know is not quite the same but maybe it will bring the light into your dreams as you sleep which is almost as good or perhaps better. I do enjoy dreams.

      Now, was ‘strawbeeries’ a typo or is that how it’s said in Scotland? In any case I hope you will get the thistles out of the berry plants tomorrow and maybe you will get some fruit later.

  3. Lyn says:

    Wow, Linnie, you have added to my education yet again. Believe it or not, I never knew there were monthly names for the full moon. Such a cool idea, and I was worried that maybe it only applied to the northern hemisphere, but no! There are southern hemisphere names too. Here, the full moon in June is called the Oak Moon, Cold Moon or Long Night’s Moon. Love it, love it, love it.

    • linniew says:

      Count on me to teach you odd irrelevant things Lyn, and for you to remind me how opposite much is in your part of the earth. Your June Moon names are spectacular and I just hope you will pick one and spread it around because all bits of the planet need more poetry and imagination and magic. And it may all be up to gardeners to, you know, fix things.

  4. I love scones and need to give that recipe and blog a try. If you check a lunar calendar it will tell you exactly when the next full moon will be. The lunar cycle is 29.5 days long so maybe in a month we’ll have a Nutella moon.

    • linniew says:

      I think you can even substitute other fruit in the scones—peaches might be nice later in the summer—but the strawberries are great.

      For readers in various parts of the planet there are full moon issues as to date. From what I have read the time of the full moon is defined by when it is visible at Greenwich, England. If you live elsewehere it occurs at the same time, but can be part of a different calendar day. This month the full moon in Oregon was Thursday evening, but it was after midnight on the east coast so there the full moon coincided with Friday the 13th–rare and very exciting.

  5. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I share your love for strawberries and there is a flat of them in my refrigerator right now from a farmers market yesterday. There was another half flat of them that mysteriously vanished on the drive home. I’m hoping to make freezer jam this year if I can keep myself from eating them all. Fortunately, there are some local growers and I can find more.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Peter
      Eating half the fresh berries on the way home is almost mandatory. (It’s in the Strawberry Handbook which I am thinking of writing.) And freezer jam is worth it, even if you have to buy a few more flats to get there.

  6. Hi Linnie Love,

    Yes, I too am a strawberry junkie. I can never get enough of those sweet, juicy Oregon berries. Unfortunately my plants don’t really yield all that well for reasons that elude me. Thank goodness for the Farmers’ Markets right?

    I never did get to see the strawberry moon. Too cloudy. The fact that it was on Friday the 13th seemed to arouse a response in some of the more thoughtful among us. And I also learned about Mercury being in retrograde and how this plays in to this whole vibe. Well, maybe I’m getting more thoughtful too.

    I hope you’re doing well. Life is good.

    • linniew says:

      Life was certainly good while those strawberries lasted… I expect the moon gave good magic to your garden right through the clouds Gracie. I know nothing of retrograde planets but I will hope Mercury didn’t cause any trouble.

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