Strawberry Fields Forever


I couldn’t help but have those lyrics running through my head this morning. I went to a “pick your own” strawberry patch. I had never actually done it before today. In the past, I’ve found out about it after my mom has already gone. Last year she felt like she nearly had heat stroke, so she told me that it was my turn to do it this year.

I set out a little after 8 am this morning. I had my trusty directions to follow. The strawberry patch is associated with an apple orchard that I frequent in the fall. But the patch is located in a different area. You’re not really far out of the metro area, but it sure felt like it. All of the major turns were marked, so I could have found it without my printout.

I wasn’t sure how much I was going to pick. So I grabbed two boxes and waited in the corral for the tractor to come pick us up. I hopped on with several other people and we got a lift out to the berry patch. There were already quite a few people picking berries. But it’s a large area so there were plenty to go around. We were each given a row and a flag. When you were done picking, you put your flag where you stopped.

Some people were out picking berries just to eat. Well, I guess they’re all to eat… It just depends on the final form. There were a few of us picking enough to make jam. There were some people that brought their kids with them to pick. After awhile most of the people that came at the same time as me had finished and taxied back to the car park on the tractor. The tractor kept coming with more and more loads of people. But now they had started picking in another area. I was all by myself, happily filling up my boxes.

At first, I knelt on the straw with a knee. Then I switched. Then I decide to just sit on my butt and scoot along as needed. I can understand why they charge what they charge for berries in the store. Do you remember the book, “Blueberries for Sal”? It was one of my favorites as a kid. Sal would pick one, then eat one. I didn’t eat very many as I picked. But every once in awhile you’d run across that perfect berry, warm from the sun. Yum.

So now comes the fun part. I have 16.44 pounds of strawberries ($1.65/pound). My mom and I are going to make jam. I want to try making strawberry-rhubarb jam. Mom has the sugar, the jars, the pectin, etc. Time to clean the strawberries!



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