Sunday, July 19, 2009

my strawberry diary

Four months ago, even before our long winter was over, a strawberry seedling was delivered to my door. It was my first hesitant step toward raising something edible in my garden. I decided to keep an etegami diary of the plant's growth, and recorded the six main stages that I was able to observe. I drew it on the first day it arrived, in its tiny vinyl cup. A few weeks later, I moved it into a large planter and set it outdoors. But then the temperature plummeted and it snowed off and on for many days. I thought I had lost my strawberry plant. It was looking spindly, and the leaves were orange and brown-tinged. It turned out that the earliest leaves were just naturally withering away, and the leaves that replaced the first growth were lush and vigorous. A little later, pretty white blossoms appeared, followed by hard knobby green fruit. More waiting, and the fruit grew plump and red and ready to be picked. On the final day of my diary, I picked the fruit and used it in making ichigo-daifuku, an-filled (sweet bean jam) dumplings made of glutenous mochi rice, with my freshly picked strawberries in the center of each dumpling. My strawberry plant had fulfilled her destiny. And my strawberry diary had come to its end. Why don't you give it a try too? Record the growth of something dear to you with etegami.


  1. I had no idea you used your own home-grown strawberries in the chigo-daifuku! What a neat thing, making a etegami diary of your plant's growth. I love it.

  2. Your postcards are gorgeous!! I've been known to do a watercolor notecard or two in the distant past, but was never very happy with the results--but if they turned out like yours, I'd want to do it as a business! You're obviously a multi-talented lady. Like the commenter above, I love your idea of pictorially recording your plant's growth.

  3. Thank you so much, ladies, for your comments. The diary idea turned out to be a good way to keep me producing etegami even when I felt I was too busy or wasn't in the mood. I knew I couldn't put off drawing that particular stage of the plant's growth or I would miss drawing that stage all together. Anything that keeps me drawing regularly is a good thing. Once I start drawing, I always get in the mood, and I can always make the time.