This is the weekend for strawberry festivals and several local farms have pick-your-own fields.  Last year, when I was about 39 weeks pregnant, Mom, Dad, Jon, Jonathan and I picked 14 lbs of strawberries at Trax Farms.

Jon is on a business trip, but I wanted to get at least some fresh, cheap yummy strawberries this year, and figured we could do it.  Too bad I didn't call the farm I was planning on sooner.  They always say call for availability, because some times there are a bunch of pickers one day and they need to let the fields ripen up a bit more.  We spent the regular amount of time at church, and then I buckled the boys in the car and called the farm.  I got a message "We are open Sunday from 9am - 2pm."  I look at the phone: 1:54.


But Jonathan was already all excited about berry picking, so I call farm 2 (out of the way, but the only other farm north of the city I have the number to.)  "Because of the late frosts, the crops are bad, but you might find a few ripe berries."  Jonathan says he wants 21, so I figure it will work.  That farm is primarily a garden center and the first three people we talk to don't even know where the strawberry fields are.  One man who knows is assisting other customers, so we wait for quite a while.  Finally one guy finds the other person who knows, and she says we'd want to drive up, proceeding to give directions to two different fields.


I pack the boys back in the car and drive up the Do Not Enter street...past the field...maybe a field, but full of tall weeds...keep driving...sure I'm too far...oh, look, the tower where she said the other field is...newly planted field...plowed but no plants field...rasberry bushes (green)...weedy field...where are the strawberries?  I know what strawberry plants look like, why can't I find them?  So I drive backwards down the way she described the second field, park, take out the boys, ask again.  Oh, yeah, they didn't bother weeding because the crop was going to be bad anyway. 


So we head back up and park by the weedy field because it's the only possibility, even though I still can't see the strawberry plants from the car.  Only as we walk on top of some plants do I see them, and then some red peeking out.  They are much smaller plants than the ones at Trax last year.  After some stepping mishaps, I show Jonathan the paths between rows and instruct him in picking.  He takes his own pint container and happily picks along, evenually deciding that he wants more than 21.  I start picking with one hand, carrying Noah with the other, but eventually put him down.  He happily puts straw pieces in his pint container while Jonathan and I finish up.  Three pints, we're done.


Many were really sandy, so even Jonathan didn't want to eat them without washing them, so I said he could wash some in the drinking fountain when we went back to pay.  Back in the car, drive back down, back out of the car, wash some strawberries, spill one pint, baby plays in stagnant display fountains, pick up strawberries, back in car, pray that Noah is entertained by toys until we get home.


It could have been fun, but the later it got, the more tired I got and all the in and out and delays were exhausting.  The boys truly did have fun, but I was focusing on survival.  What I wish the most is that I called the first farm earlier, say yesterday, or even right after the service ended.  I guess what I wished the second most was that the person on the phone of farm 2 had said, "No, pick your own is not available this year due to the frosts."  I bet we're the only people who did it at all.  If she had said that, I would have gone to a farm stand on the way home I knew about and just bought some.  Then depending on availability and how we felt, we could have gone picking another day this week.  In addition, the berries are not nearly as good as last year's.  Now I'll need to ask someone who's been to Trax this year if their berries are still good or also got affected by the frosts.


But Noah did stay happy until we got home.  That was about eight hours without nursing... 


So we'll have an early bedtime tonight!

Posted by Heather Daley on June 10, 2007, 5:58 pm | Read 14522 times
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They really shouldn't have charged you after all that!

Isn't it amazing how an adventure that is nothing but misery for the adult is still great fun for the kids -- and turns into an entertaining story?

Sleep well!

Posted by SursumCorda on June 10, 2007, 8:29 pm

So sorry to hear about the misadventure - especially since I remember how excited Jonathan was last year.

Posted by Dad-o on June 11, 2007, 8:17 am

i'm sorry your had a not-so-fun time picking this year. if you're up for the drive, there's a great farm out our way...

Posted by ~liz on June 12, 2007, 8:56 am
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