Strawberry Picking

What a busy day it’s been! My son woke me up this morning and told me that we had to get a move on if we were going to go pick strawberries. Now, he and I have never done that before and normally our version of “picking” is deciding which gallon buckets of picked berries we want to buy! But this time I wanted him to at least try it since my lower back has been messed the last few weeks.

We went back to my favorite berry patch, Maggie Valley Berry Patch and Gardens, over in Grant city. I love their strawberries, they are juicy, sweet, and perfect for our homemade preserves! We asked if my son could pick a few berries and while the pickers had already been through the field earlier that morning we were able to find a good half gallons worth this afternoon of ripe strawberries. Below my dad is showing my son how to pick a berry, pinching the stem and twisting. Very simple! I did pick a couple of large berries myself as I was walking along 🙂

My Dad showing my son how to pick a berry.

Grandpa (my Dad) showing my son how to pick a berry.

I loved their patch layout, everything looked so nice and well cared for. You really couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Plenty of green ones sprouting.

Plenty of green ones sprouting.

Found one!

Found one!

We wound up buying three gallons of berries, including the half my son picked (which he spent the day eating off and on). If you’ve never been berry picking before I want to encourage you to try it out! It’s a great time to spend with your family, a fun outing and a practical education time. Not only did my son learn how to pick strawberries, but the woman was kind enough to explain how their watering system works and explained why they have a little fence around the berry patch (raccoons are so fun to put up with).

Sure you’re out there with bugs, flies, and sometimes in unforgiving conditions such as mud, blistering heat and the blazing sun. Just be sure to pick a really nice day, when it’s not too hot if possible, wear clothes and shoes you wouldn’t mind messing up, and most importantly be mindful that this is someone elses property. Small farmers go to a great deal of trouble to provide quality produce for the community and we ought to really appreciate them more for all their hard work and sacrifice. It takes a lot of time and energy to make sure that everyone can enjoy the harvest as much as possible, weather permitting of course.

One of the biggest berries they found!

One of the biggest berries they found!

I can’t wait to go back and pick some blackberries! Dad and I checked them out,they were still too small and red at this point. Are you growing a garden this year? Don’t know where to start or what zone you’re in and what’s best to grown in your area? The Farmer’s Almanac has a wealth of information on their site. They also have a map that shows the different zones, by color, of where certain things will grow best. And be sure to check out their recipe section, especially the spring recipes, yum!!

Toodles!

Amanda Gayle

 

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