Prior to the land purchase, nearly every surface was brush-hogged, across swampy areas and up the steep slopes. After the purchase, we opted to manicure the least we could while still being able to utilize and enjoy the property.
When it came to the strawberries, the first year I weeded 4 inches or so around the bases of the handful of plants I happened across. We did not mow, and it wasn't necessary since the bank was so sparse and covered in low moss and beautiful ferns. We pulled trees by hand and did a little weed-whacking here and there.
The second year we had about 1/4 cup of berries. I did little that year, partly because I was busy growing annuals for food. I hand-pulled a few trees each time I found myself walking up the bank, and string trimmed certain sections once or twice a year. I pulled weeds if I happened to stop near a strawberry plant.
I believe that through our efforts to avoid cutting anything until necessary and to do so with minimal impact, we have been encouraging the vegetation on the bank. This has helped retain a little more water, and newly thriving tall plants have provided more shade for the berries to thrive.
Today, going into Summer #3, we have harvested this coffee cup full of berries. There's another cup still out there, and based on the number of white berries we saw today, there are several more to come.
These strawberries are being made into a sauce, combined with the rhubarb my father gave me, which he has been growing from a cutting from my great grandmother's crop for more than 30 years.