Friday, June 11, 2010

Let me take you down...

...cause I'm going to, strawberry fields. ~the Beatles.

(okay, so I'm too young to know what that song is really about...but that was our adventure for the week. Strawberry pickin'!!)
It's funny, I haven't picked strawberries at a fruit farm since I was a wee little kid. My older neighbor lady asked mom if she could borrow us kids for the day to help her pick berries. (, slave labor.) And my memories of that day are not kind. It seems to me we picked berries in the sweltering sun and heat ALL DAY LONG, and ended with nothing to show for it. Uggh. Bet she made some nice pies though. (curses.)

So, I got to thinking. Why should I have all the fond memories. Our kids are old enough to enjoy a day in the fields, picking, and swiping a few fresh berries along the way. They'll LOVE it. Right??

Actually. They did. It was a cooler morning on Tuesday, and we spent only an hour bent over gathering the sweetest, ripest berries we could muster. It was easy work...apparently a bumper-crop year for strawberries here. And the kids didn't complain at all. Huh. How 'bout that! All the kids (minus Alice and Emma who were at camp this week) went with us, and picked till their ice cream bucket's were full. Oh, except Lucy too. She spent the hour traipsing aimlessly between the rows, giggling with delight as the sweet berry juice covered her face and dripped down her elbows. She was tickled pink. Literally. Turns out they all want to do it again next year. As for me...well, my knees and thighs are feeling the pain from all that scrunching. And my fingers seem permanently stained red from all the strawberries I've been putting up this week...several pies, lots of frozen berries, and 24 pints of jam later...I think it will take me the whole year to muster up the energy to go back again.

We picked 8 buckets of the juicy red berries. Delicious!!

Enough to keep Lucy smiling and sweet as ever. (Note the pink drips going down the front of her shirt. I didn't think to bring the camera along...the pink seed-smeared face, hands, elbows, and knees was priceless!)
Ahhh...and the rewards of our labors...fresh strawberry pie (and jam, and sauce, and plain berries. Yumm!)


Stacy said...

Hey Jamie! Yep, sounds familiar...we picked berries last week too! Ended up with 4 buckets after we were done-used ours for frozen berries and also made a sauce for ice cream, waffles, pancakes, etc. to freeze as well. Oh and of course, kept one bucket for eating which only lasted 2 days!! The kids had a ball picking berries! This was our second year of doing it and we're making a tradition of it every year. (At least until it's not fun for them anymore, which hopefully is a long while off!)
BTW~where did you pick your berries at? We went to Ft. Recovery--Jutte's Fruit Farm, they had huge, sweet berries this year!!

jamie said...

We were at Jutte's also. OUr first time there.

One woman working there thought this Saturday might be their last day for picking. It was an early crop this year, and were nearly done. But yes. The berries were perfect!!!

Robin said...

I can remember going with Alice, Farm John, Gary and Martha many years ago and pick strawberries. Good times, then we would come home and I would help Alice make strawberry jam down in the basement. I taught Kim and Carrie how to make strawberry jam, and during the holidays we get together and make jam as gifts. Good times! Silly how something so simple brings such happy memories.

Anonymous said...

We must have picked about the same amount of berries!! So good to eat and make jam! I also picked cherries the same week, 2 five gallon about stained hands!!!


Stacie said...

You guys are to funny... I grew up a mile from Jutte's fruit and worked there so many summers I can't even count picking, and weeding enough strawberries to last me a life time. That might be why I haven't taken the girls there to pick. Stacie