strawberries

The kids and I spent the morning harvesting approximately a metric ton of these from a local farm:



Daniel was so excited about going strawberry picking with my friend Pat he could barely stand it. I think the experience lived up to his expectations, too. We got a lot of rain last night, so everything is sort of wet and muddy outside. However, the sky was clouded over and the temps were cool this morning, so being out in the field was really quite pleasant. This is a remarkable contrast to my memories of berry-picking as a child, when my mother would drag us kicking and screaming to a nearby orchard where we endured sweltering heat, humidity, mosquito bites and often thorns in order to fill up our buckets with enough fruit to make pies and jams and cobblers. Oh, we enjoyed the fruits of our labor (yuk yuk) but the aquiring of same, we thought was akin to torture. Of course, it built character and, more importantly, taught us valuable lessons about where our food comes from and how much work it is to get. We didn't have to grow these berries, mind you, just pick them. But picking them alone was a lot of work.

Where was I? Oh, yes...this morning. There were so many things exciting for Daniel, including:

1. Meeting my friend Pat, who is one of his favorite people, and mine too. She and I just think alike about a lot of things. I mean, how many friends do you have who like to go berry-picking for fun?

2. Using the port-a-jon, the only public restroom at the farm. I'm not sure why that was so much fun, but hey, it worked.

3. Riding the wagon (pulled by a small red tractor) up the hill to the strawberry field.

4. Picking the berries. Oh man did he enjoy this part. They are red, ripe, juicy, plentiful, and just gorgeous. For some reason they are also gigantic this year.

5. Snitching a few berries for taste-testing. Strawberries are one of Daniel's favorite foods (probably one reason he was so enthusiastic about this particular excursion), and these do not disappoint. I tried one, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven for a moment. It was that good.

Even Anya enjoyed herself, and though she wasn't nearly as helpful with the picking as Daniel, she busied herself pulling picked berries out of my flat and squishing them on the ground. At least she didn't step in the box!

In the space of a half hour I picked 16 lbs of strawberries. I cleaned them right after we got home (Anya napped and I plopped Daniel in front of PBS - it's just necessary sometimes), and there were easily two gallons that went straight in the freezer, plus another 2 or 3 quarts in the fridge for us to snack on and make into some kind of yummy dessert for dinner tonight.

The other day I was in the grocery store where a display of California strawberries - organic - were on sale for $3/quart. "That's a really good price!" I heard a man exclaim to his children. I just cringed and walked on.

Comments

mmmm so picking is good at that farm? Brandon and I usually go there (for the past 2 years, since we got our freezer) and have been pleased. Ready to go again, 'cause we've worked our way through the 28# we froze last year! Hooray!
Suze said…
It's EXCELLENT! You should go :)
Jessi said…
Man, I miss fresh strawberries. I did grow them as a kid and pick them, too. I've been trying to talk Bob into building me a strawberry growing thing. There's one down the road from us made with PVC and it is awesome. Maybe I should just give up and try to find a farm with strawberry picking.
Jodi Reinman said…
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