Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Strawberry Transporter 2000

While I was in Maine recently I attended a baby shower where guests were given strawberry plants as party favors. I was delighted with my strawberry plant, and excited to get it planted out on my balcony, but first I had to transport the plant from Maine to Virginia. I was worried that the strawberry's delicate stem would be snapped if the plant were tipped over in transit, and I was not confident that I could keep the plant upright for the whole trip, especially while going through airport security.

So, I created the Strawberry Transporter 2000 out of a discarded cardboard box, some packing tape, and three pieces of twine.

The reconfigured box closes up in a wedge shape so that even if it is tipped on its side (or, theoretically, upside down, although I did not test this possibility) the peat pot is held in place at the wide end of the wedge and cannot crush the strawberry plant's stem.

I would have taped up the whole box, but I was concerned that security screeners might want to look inside. Hence the twine ties, which could be undone and redone easily.

Was it a kooky idea? Maybe. But the strawberry plant did arrive in Charlottesville intact. Here it is looking out the sliding glass door onto my balcony, yearning to join the other plants.

And here it is a bit later, settled in next to the chard.

If I read the instruction card right, I shouldn't expect this plant to produce fruit until next year. I hope I can get it through the winter all right. If it does produce berries, I will be thrilled.

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