Strawberry picking

I wasn't super motivated to go strawberry picking this year. It's just been so hot. Plus, Mark is usually at work during strawberry picking hours and the thought of me hauling the four kids out to the berry farm isn't too enticing. Especially since Addie would have to be carried by me-- would I really be able to pick?

I did want to make some Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam this year, though. So today Mark said he'd try to finish up a bit early so that we could all go out.

The first farm we drove into we saw them chopping down the strawberry plants. Arghh. Maybe I'd missed the season altogether. When I stopped and asked, she said, "Our last day of strawberries was yesterday." Ugh.

Onto the next farm. The sign still read Strawberries: U Pick, so I was hopeful. When we asked, she sort of shrugged and said, "There's a few left out there. Kinda like a treasure hunt. Feel free to pick wherever. Good luck."

Super.

I thought "Treasure Hunt" would really get the kids fired up, though, so I whooped about how much fun this was going to be and into the fields we went. It was very slim picking. We found one berry every 5 feet or something. [Note to self: Next year do not wait until the third week of July to pick strawberries.]

But we persevered and found 13 lbs worth of berries~ enough for a bit of jam~ and some pictures to boot.





Funny story about the berry farm we were at today. But a little history, first. This farm- that my mom has gone to for years, because they're the cheapest and that's what matters to her- has raspberries and blueberries in addition to strawberries.

This is the very same farm where I was swarmed by a mob of angry bees two years ago.

And a couple of years prior to the bee incident, it was at this farm that my sister, while picking blueberries, saw a green hose wrapped around the bush. But no- then the hose moved, and she quickly ascertained that it was actually a green SNAKE. ~shudder~
I did not happen to be there, near the snake, at that time, but just the knowledge of it was enough for me to change berry farms.

A couple of years ago (before the bees but after the snake), my mom and I went out to said berry farm [mom was driving; she picked the farm] to pick some strawberries. It was a bad year. The berries were small and we were disappointed. When we went up to pay for the berries, we made some comment to the teenaged girl behind the stand: "Not a great year for the strawberries, huh?" She was quick to agree: "No. It's been a terrible year, actually. Our fields were infested with weasels this year."

My mom and I simultaneously had an alarming image of a bunch of these fellows roaming through the strawberry fields we'd just been in.

.
.
.
.

No. Surely not.

We clarified, incredulously: "Really? Weasels? They eat strawberries?"

"Yes," she said, quite seriously. "It's been terrible for our fields."

Well.

Thankfully we hadn't seen any.

When we'd stepped away from the stand my mom and I looked at each other and said aloud, at the same time: "Weasels?!" (Like-- is she for reals?)

And then it dawned on us: what she'd surely meant was that their fields had been infested with weevils, not weasels, as she'd said.

On the way home we laughed so hard the tears were streaming down our faces. Every year since we revisit the weasel story and laugh about it until our sides ache.

Because the image of one of us bending down for a berry and seeing one of these guys peering at us through the bushes? Or- heaven forbid- scampering across our feet as we walked through the fields?



More than we can bear.

I wonder how many other U-pickers she told about the weasels before she realized- oops! - it was actually weevils. Hilarious!

8 comments:

  1. Did you do this today?! You are amazing!
    And I so have to taste your Strawberry-Rhubarb jam! Yummy.

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  2. Oh man Stacy. That is HILARIOUS. I don't often laugh out loud while reading but I did when I saw that little weasel face popping up. Too funny.

    And yes, strawberry rhubarb sounds awesome.

    Time sure flies - I was thinking I should get out and pick some more strawberries to freeze - I guess I'll have to move on to raspberries now.

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  3. Hot? Oh please!
    We are jammin here too - apricot today.
    Oh you should see my kitchen floor.
    The good news is when I lay down for bed the ceiling looks so clean I can rest in peace.
    But those weasles are going to give me nightmares!

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  4. I was in the midst or reading about the snake when the photo of the weasel appeared, and I thought you were going to say you saw a mongoose appeared and battled with the snake! Not only were there not weasels in the field, but there aren't mongooses in the US... oh well. No Riki-Tiki-Tavi for you. =)
    Blessings,
    Annie

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  5. weevils/weasels...they sounds similar! Common mistake.

    and you have superb timing, as I was JUST plotting a berry picking session, but was wondering if blueberries are any good in Washington right now. I'm clueless.

    nice weasel picture btw. haha

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  6. haha!! That's a GREAT one! I'm so glad you were able to find enough "treasure" to make jam. I'm sure it will be very yummy;-)

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  7. Remind me not to read blogs while eating lunch. I got to the weasels and almost choked on my sandwich!! I'm certain it was the same field we pick at - they are the cheapest, and we got the "treasure hunt" speech yesterday too. (Picked strawberries, then moved over to raspberries. Can't wait to get my hands on those blueberries! Another week or two.)

    I just have to reiterate how blessed I feel to be surrounded by awesome women that love God, strive to be a help meet to their husbands, love, educate, and discipline their children, raise chickens, grow food, make jam and preserve food. This return to "old fashioned values" and just plain common sense is refreshing. Doesn't it just feel good to pack away jam for winter for your family?

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  8. Hi Stacy :) LOL - I am going to read this to my sweeties tomorrow, they will love all of the wildlife ;)

    So glad that you found berries & weren't attacked. Let us know how the jam turns out! Love, Q

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