Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Berry picking

Nora's playgroup decided to meet at a local berry farm this morning, so we thought we'd join. But, as is our style, we showed up about an hour and a half late and missed the group. So we picked alone. It was great, for the first 30 minutes or so. Nora couldn't have been happier when she realized that she was literally surrounded by her favorite food, and that it was hers for the picking.

She ate every berry within her reach, regardless of color or condition. As you can see from the photos, her condition degenerated as time went on—her cute little outfit was soon dripping with berry stains, covered in dirt and debris, and, somehow, missing a button. This girl is serious about her berries.

At one point, a woman with two children called across a few rows to me, "Excuse me, but she's eating the STEMS! She's putting STEMS in her mouth!" Like that was noteworthy. Oh woman, I'm sure I pulled more garbage out of my kid's mouth by noon than yours will consume in her entire life, and somehow neither of us is any worse for the wear.

After the 2-hour picking session (which got positively miserable once the berries' luster wore off), we emerged with three quarts of strawberries and a new appreciation for the people who pick our fruit. Our friend Katie and her six (count 'em) kids live in the neighborhood, so we headed over there and spent the rest of the day turning our berries, and a bunch that Katie supplied, into jam, which we then canned.

Lots of fun, but canning really is just as much work as everyone says it is. I'm also not sure the jam turned into actual jam, so we might just have some jars of sweet strawberry liquid to show for our 10 hours of toil, but still. It was a fun way to spend one of our last summer days.


D said...

Wait. A woman who HAS children was freaking about a kid eating a stem? A stem? Something akin to a chive or rosemary leaf? A great source of fiber and Vitamin A?

In the last 2 months, 4 people have set off the alarm bc they see my baby eating rocks. Hello?!! He's teething! What's he supposed to chew on?

Keep in mind, stems and rocks (and mouths full of dirt) are organic. Must be good for the babes. ;)

Melissa said...

Did you go up to Brighton? And, yes, canning is HARD. I made apple butter last fall, and after 11 hours of hovering over the stew, I canned it- only for it to be waterier (is that a word?) than applesauce. Oh well. Can I have some jam??

cathy said...

ooooh, where is that? any berries left? i love nora's determination.