Strawberry Fields

Spring is here and this is our second year on our annual tradition of picking fresh strawberries. Saffy, as she grows older, has learned to appreciate learning where whole foods come from and likes to get dirty doing it. Her face brightens up when we plan our trip to the strawberry fields in the neighboring town. Andy also enjoys making sure we pick the juiciest ones and I enjoy just being out picking berries, so I can make a yummy strawberry chocolate pie! If you’ve never gone out to pick your own berries, I highly suggest you do. I know that it’s more work than just grabbing a small box from the produce aisle, but getting to pick food from the vine and not having to deal with the gigantic chore of gardening, you still feel rewarded at the end. We have a few crops growing in the back and my favorite is our blueberry bush I planted a few years back. It has produced so many plump blueberries, but I rarely get a chance to enjoy them before the birds do. At least our local wildlife is fed well. So, to feel like Spring has sprung, we’ve made it a tradition to go strawberry picking to kick off the season. Last year, I came more than once. The last time was late in May and the strawberries were overly ripe already; however, the whole berry patch smelled like chocolate dipped strawberries. It was divine and I have never experienced anything like it. Even a whiff would stimulate those happy endorphins!

Here was our last year’s harvest (I never bring out my DSLR to such an active event, so please excuse the not-so-crisp photos):

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Taken from my iPhone because I had to enjoy grabbing a bucket full too instead of lugging my bazooka DSLR around.

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She was my little helper in 2012.

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This was our recent trip to the strawberry fields. My growing bump probably enjoyed my berry samplings too!

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She picked them on her own this year. 2013

After harvesting, I immediately soak the berries in one part vinegar and ten parts water and thoroughly drain them to help them stay fresh and not get so moldy so quickly. They last a lot longer this way. You can also do this with other berries too.

If you are ever in Raleigh, NC, come stop by DJ’s Berry Patch in Apex. Such a pretty field with yummy berries!

How do you kick off Spring with your family?