How do you stop a two and four-year-old from sampling the merchandise at a u-pick strawberry patch?
It's impossible and I challenge any parent to stay within the lawful limit of zero berries! The sun shined while Jose, the kids, and I crouched in the earth looking for the biggest, reddest, juiciest strawberries. (Actually, Jose mostly stood and took pictures and the kids mostly stood and ate strawberries, while I crouched and picked.) It was really interesting to teach the kids the difference between unripe and ripe strawberries - "pick the red ones, the deep, deep, deep, deep red ones. No, that's green. No that's yellow. No, that's pink - the deep, deep, deep red ones!"
We worked just under and hour, collecting eight pounds or so - not bad for a first picking.
I think this summer is going to be fantastic for fresh fruit. We plan to can some (gotta learn canning soon), freeze others (for snacks and martini garnishes), and make strawberry syrup with the rest (for Saturday morning pancakes).
We also had a chance to visit our blueberry trees at Skylark Farms. This season, we are renting two blueberry plants from this local farm. We are guaranteed a minimum yield for the blueberries on our plants.
This is the first year that the tree rental program is taking place here. In a few weeks, we will be given two or three time slots to fill our buckets with the sweet blueberries. They aren't ripe yet; today was just a visit to see the progress of our plants.
We are excited to see how much our trees will have changed in a month on our next visit. We sat in the grass and admired our adopted plants' progress. Jose wants to put a picture of them on the fridge like a UNICEF child. I think that might be excessive.
The crop looks really good. The berries are already large and plentiful on the branches. As we left, we adopted two more plants. The price is so good and the experience is so rewarding. I love that we are getting to know our farmers and see where some of our fruit comes from.
So how do I stop a two and four-year old from sampling and experiencing food directly out of the earth and into their mouths? I don't. In fact, I encourage it.