Friday, May 22, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

Just the other day, Bonita chatted about picking fresh strawberries on her blog and featured the most delicious-looking pie picture.

A day or so following, a friend called and asked if I wanted to go pick strawberries. She was surprised to learn that I had never been. Blueberries, yes, I said. But somehow, I had missed the preschool trip to the strawberry patch.
That all changed Thursday.

Skip the shower, dress to get stained and carry big buckets! We took to the field.

Spring in central Virginia has brought some wonderful rains and cool evenings, which are fine for enjoying the beauty of Spring, but not perfect for the launch of the strawberry season. Not enough warmth to bring out the abundance of berries one anticipating the season might expect.

"I've never worked harder to pick strawberries," my friend confessed.

Me, what did I know. I took in a gorgeous sunny morning and the experience of pulling fruit at least twice as big as the blueberries I'm used to picking every year. I learned from my friend that the tiny ones carry the most sweetness. She wasn't kidding!

About two hours later, she and I both felt a bit like ripened berries, sagging from the weight of our sun-kissed juiciness. We called it a morning!

Some seven pounds of berries now called for a new home. Several, actually.

[This looks a lot like my blueberry picture from last July. "Dancing in meadows of strawberry jam...." Ah, Jamberry!]

My friend's advice to "Just eat them" has served us well, and the girls' bus drivers and teachers, and some other friends who have received small tubs and bags of sweet goodness. Because fresh strawberries have such a short flavor life, baking and freezing become preserving alternatives (as plain old strawberry preserves isn't my thing). The girls will feast on some yummy homemade strawberry ice pops soon, just in time for the heatwave this weekend!

* * *

discovered something else out in the strawberry fields--a new take on the popular 30 x 5 exercise regime, happily promoted by Linda at
2nd Cup of Coffee. The general idea is to exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Doesn't sound hard, but if you read the folks who have and are trying it, you'll see that it can be more challenging than it sounds. Might I suggest an alternative? Instead of considering 30 x 5 as time, let's consider it distance. Take a strawberry field, 30 yards by 5 rows deep. Get down deep to pick all the best strawberries out of the area without your Step 2 Garden Hopper. (By all means, drink your water, right, Linda?)

If you ain't feelin' the burn the next day, you don't need 30 x 5!

Strawberry lemonade, anyone?


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Ha! I wondered what you were thinking. This goes along with the last tip for water drinking that I gave about crushing a strawberry in your water for flavor. Looks like you could be doing a lot of water drinking with all of those berries!

Chatty Kelly said...

I'm going to be enjoying some of those today! Thanks!

The Patterson 5 said...

How fun! As a girl we would go just to the neighboring farm and pick strawberries EVERY year! Some of my friends would evn get hired as pickers for those who did not want to pick their own. I think I ate too many as I picked to get picked as a picker.....!

The Patterson 5 said...

(I'm answering here as well) Crab tree falls is just outside of Charlotteville. It's a great hike for young hikers as the switch backs keep the incline managable! It has just enough rocks to excit young adventurers and the stream and tree cover keeps you cool. We difinately are entering another chapter! We will soon be giving away our stroller (it will be the first time in nine years I have not had one!) I'm mostly happy about that as I think of bike riding with my children instead of chasing them on foot!

Check out Crab tree falls!

My ADHD Me said...

Those pictures of the strawberries made my mouth water. They looked delicious!

I've been strawberry picking once. It was a long time ago. I remember it was fun but very hot hot hot.

P.S. Re that picture of a firefighter on the roof..I have pictures of myself in gear and I look exactly like wasn't me....but It could have been. :-)

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm!!The strawberry lemonade looked delicious!!

:) Gigi

God's girl said...

Yummers! I love strawberry picking but haven't done it for a couple years now. I blueberry picked when I was a kid, that would be fun to do again. But then, everything is remembered as being more fun when you are a kid:)

Glad you had fun (and a work-out).


Anonymous said...

Hi! I LOVE your blog. It is SOOOOOO COOL! I can't wait to hear another post about your kids. They seem so intresting! I bet your day at the berry farm with your friend was a lot of fun. Keep blogging!
A Blogger Who does Not Wish To Share Her Name

Edie said...

Looks like a fun day! I've never been strawberry picking but we had a strawberry patch in our garden when I was growing up. Does picking them count?

I have been cherry picking and that was fun. I think I prefer climbing up in a cherry picker to bending all day. My knees couldn't take it. :)