We had a great holiday weekend. We spent time with family and friends doing the requisite BBQs and trips to the beach. On Saturday morning, my husband and I joined some friends at a pick-your-own farm to collect fresh strawberries, something which I've been itching to do since last year. It was a lot of fun, and as indicated by the post title, we picked a lot of berries.
When we arrived at the farm we were each given a flat (some people brought their own buckets) and driven out to the strawberry fields where we chose a row and got down to business.
We were out in the fields for about an hour, maybe a little less. Picking strawberries is slow, careful, back-breaking business. The plants were low to the ground, so I spent the time bent over or crouched down. They also bruise and squish easily, so I slowly and carefully worked my way down the row, filling my flat with berries and trying not to bump them around too much or squish the unripened berries still on the vine. My friends were a little less careful, and as the morning wore on there were a few more bruises developing on their fruit, but overall their berries looked OK too.
My goal for the day was to collect enough strawberries to freeze and enjoy over the winter months. (I have pledged not to buy berries at the store anymore because, in my experience, they taste bitter and go bad the next day). I thought we might bring home a few pounds, maybe 4 or 5. I was pretty surprised when we made it back to the farm stand and the weight of our flats came in at eighteen pounds!! Yes, I asked the lady to double check the weight. No, the weight of the container wasn't counted. Between what we collected and what we're growing at home, I think it's safe to say that I'll have plenty of strawberries to satisfy my cravings for months to come.
My slat--only ~8 lbs
Strawberry picking was fun, but the real chore was prepping and freezing 18 pounds of strawberries. Tomorrow I'll post about how we did that.
Virginia Department of Agriculture has info on what's in season, farmers' markets, recipes, and how to care/prep fresh-picked food.