Here's the H girl, "Look Mommy, I got one!"
Li'l D was intrigued by these messy red things, so I guess he didn't get the connection between these yucky things and the yummy things that end up on his dinner plate (which he is all too happy to gobble up and promptly demand more) that and I kept the bookie in his mouth so we wouldn't have a problem diaper later in the day after stuffing too many berries in his mouth... not to mention possible choking on, or the moldy ones that were also around.
Look at H's face here (click on the picture to really see her). She is really contemplating something... maybe "Are the berries better over there?" or "I wonder how long we will have to be here?" - though I guess that is what B's face is saying, or possibly "Why aren't any of the other kids carrying Halloween baskets?"
"Look B, how many do you have in your bucket?" This was about all each of them picked in their baskets - usually picked by me after they yelled "I found one!!" but didn't want to pick it themselves after a "lesson" from the farm's attendant about how to pick the berries with the greens still on the tops so they last longer. (I think the kids didn't want to do it "wrong".)
And here is H "Mommy, do we have enough now??" Seriously. I guess they weren't that interested in picking the berries either.
Actually, it went fine. It was a bit breezy as the farm is on the west side near the salt water (you can see it from the fields, really quite a beautiful piece of property.) I thought the rows were extremely close together, closer than I remember seeing at other U-pick berry places when we picked in Whatcom County (years ago...). Maybe this is the sign of "progress" - move berries closer together for more production. Although if that was the plan, I think it probably failed this day after all the kids moving around the rows squashing every 10th berry or so when they tried to move up and down the rows.
We didn't stay very long at all. I talked to a couple moms and the kids picked a couple berries for a while (only $1.50 worth!). The hardest part was li'l D. He kept falling backwards and landing on the berry plants. Then of course the other kids would need something and I can't bend over all that comfortably right now - dare I post a belly picture? (Sorry, no face... bad hair day!) Everyone was dirty and dusty and yucky red hands. After probably 20 minutes, it was past time to go. Everyone was happy to leave - no complaints from anyone except li'l D who might have finally figured out what these funny red things were.
I knew this would not be the jam berry day. So I was not disappointed by the amount of berries, and the kids were really quite proud of what they did have, even though some other kids in line said "You don't have many berries" to my kids in innocent enough voices that mine weren't too confused like "Should we have gotten more? Isn't this enough for lunch??" And then on the way home we stopped at the farm's roadside stand in town and picked up a 1/2 flat to make shortcake from and freeze some individual berries for later. Tomorrow night is official start of jamming season at our house, so I will also let you know how that goes. Big D is going to the (dreaded) storage unit today to get all the canning supplies and see what we need. I can't wait to use our own jam again instead of the almost flavorless stuff we have been getting lately from the store.
So we did the strawberry thing. I may be in for it, but I am looking to see if there are raspberry farms here on the island, or if we have to go off to pick those. Or maybe we can just find a place that brings the raspberries in to town in boxes so we don't have to drive so far and add gas to the cost of the jam!