Friday, May 22, 2015

Adventures in Strawberry Picking

I have not been strawberry picking in years - decades, even.  It's been a very, very long time.  So when my friend Erica suggested we go picking this year, I jumped at the opportunity.  An early spring, conflicting schedules and recent rainy weather all threatened to derail our plans, but they could not defeat us.  We went today, and it was a perfect day for picking: overcast, cool, with only a few sprinkles of rain, and it was dry enough yesterday that the field wasn't all muddy.  Perfect.

We went to Lee Farms to get our berries this year.  The field was just a small one, but there weren't many people out picking and Erica and I soon discovered that the Terrible Spiny Weeds* growing amongst the strawberries were the key to finding hidden treasure: All the other pickers must have been avoiding the areas with more of those stickery weeds.  As a result, they hid tons of lovely ripe berries.**

Three big, juicy, flavorful Oregon Strawberries.

We had a great time picking, but as soon as we stopped, our backs, legs and arms became suddenly and extremely tired.  I'm happy to say I picked 12 pounds of berries in an hour and 15 minutes.  The flat was buckling under the weight.  It was awesome.

12 pounds of freshly picked strawberries.

You may be wondering what I'm going to do with all those berries.  Well, I'll take some to Mom and Dad.  And I'll keep some for eating.  Maybe have some strawberry shortcake.  I may slice and freeze some.  I don't know yet - I need to look at the freezer jam recipe and see how many I'll need for a batch.  Maybe I'll go picking again...once my muscles recover.

I think I'll look into raspberry picking, as well.  And I can't wait for blackberry season!

Oregon is berry country.

*These things were killer.  Surprise stabs while reaching for berries were very unpleasant.

**Ripe, delicious berries.  I was a little concerned they wouldn't be very good because of the recent rain, but they're great.

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