Thursday, May 15, 2014

Strawberry Picking

It is the height of strawberry season here! I think actually, it's strawberry season from like, Apr - Aug, so it's pretty much always strawberry season:-)
So, any of you who know me, even a little, would know that "hunter gatherer" would never be used to describe me. Collecting your own food requires, well, touching it. There are many things that come into play here, like dirt, toads, spiders, snakes, slugs. This is not an exhaustive list. If it lives "in the wild", I am not a fan. I am happy to report that today, I saw only dirt. And one small spider. No toads, which would have ended our strawberry career, right there.
In Norfolk (the city), farms were 40+ mins away. But now that we live in the "country"...we have farms less than 10 minutes away:-) Driving past one on Saturday, Brooks observes it and says "I've always wanted to go strawberry picking"
So I promised him we'd go this week. Poor sheltered children:-)
Armed with our ice cream pail bucket, we went over the rules and the how-to's. The kids were shocked at my extensive knowledge on the subject ("This is ripe. This is not. Pull like this. Not like this." Rocket science) They wondered how I could know all this about strawberry picking.
I informed them that I had been to a strawberry patch many many times. Likely at least once per summer growing up.
My yield from all those trips, combined, was probably about 1 ice cream pails worth. I'd call it theoretical knowledge, more than working knowledge.
When trying to avoid toads, dirt, etc etc takes time. By the time I'd picked a few choice was time to go home. Torture time, over.
Question of the day goes to Kenna. "If it looks ripe, but it's a weird shape, is it still good?"

I definitely stressed the No Eating rule, but snapped this selfie anyway (pretend eating. It could have toad germs on it!)

Well, it seems the kids might take after their mother. In about 30 minutes of picking time, this was all we got:-) For comparisons sake, when we were kids - I'd pick about 7 berries in 30 minutes. But we'd go home with about TWENTY TWO (not even joking) ice cream pails filled with berries.  Which means Dad, Brent, Jared and Lauryn are experts. When you can fill that many buckets with berries in 30 minutes, you have to move very fast...mostly to burn off all the calories from the ice cream that it took to collect that many buckets.
My family had all kinds of records growing up - apple picking, strawberry picking, etc. Eventually, they didn't even bother to bring me, since I was in the way and dragging down the average, significantly:-)
I couldn't resist this purchase at their little farm stand. All natural honey and strawberries combined? This will be heavenly on a toasted bagel!

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