Hopefully by Wednesday, I'll be officially under contract to purchase my new strawberry u-pick field! Right now it's a mess of kudzu that reaches over my head and hides a multitude of debris, but with any luck a week from now it will be cleared and I'll have layouts developing.
There's the basic infrastructure to put in, but I'm also considering how I can layer the space to produce as much fruit as possible. About half the property is in stream buffer, so I'm definitely planning lots of fruit trees to replace the invasive species around the stream. But I want to plan for the long term, and the ways in which I can keep the property productive outside of strawberry season and after the demand for strawberries outgrows the space. Does it make sense to run a row of cane fruit down the center of each strawberry bed? What about incorporating fruit trees and bushes into the strawberry rows? The trees and bushes will eventually shade out the berries, but that's the point - the strawberries keep the space productive while the longer term investments catch up. By the time the strawberries are in full shade from the other fruit, I'll have a larger space elsewhere for strawberries.
I'm still on the hunt for a vegetable space, and I've got about 2 weeks before I'll be behind on planting for fall, winter and early spring. But for right now, I'm going to focus on getting this strawberry space secure, and then celebrate that!