You-pick organic berries











Stick with me for a moment while I explain our backwards celebration habits.

On account of my spring birthday and Pete's June birthday, we celebrate Father's Day on Mother's Day and Mother's Day on Father's Day to keep from back-to-back celebrations for one person that loose their oomph on the second day. This, of course, can get confusing when we're out and about in the world and my kids say things like, "Well, since today is Mother's Day…". That only adds to the fun, and now our friends and family have begun to pick up on our strange habits and often wish Pete a happy Faux-thers Day on Mother's Day, and the other way round on Father's Day.

We like to keep everyone guessing.

So yesterday, on Faux-Mother's Day, I got to pick the agenda. A quiet day at home and some herb planting were the only thing on my list, but when I noticed the temperature on the thermometer never climbed above 65 F, I thought it was a perfect day to pick strawberries. Before the next few days of rain and the berries get a little soft and bland, and while the air was delightfully cool.

Have I mentioned that the heat makes me wilt? It's true. So sometimes I'm kind of a baby about picking berries. I whine and get grumpy and wondering why I live somewhere with such unreasonable weather.

And then I remember that I live in Wisconsin and I try to get over myself.

But yesterday? 65 F. My dream day in June. Hallelujah! 

I asked me family if they were interested in heading to the strawberry farm to pick and everyone was enthusiastic, so we grabbed our baskets and loaded into the car.

My kids are eager to pick berries because it's tasty and fun. Sometimes. Other times is drudgery but they know I won't buy berries out of season and you have to help pick to earn the freedom to pull a bag of frozen berries from the deep freeze. Suddenly, everyone wants to help! Works for me.

And as I already mentioned: the weather! The weather was perfect, so it was an easy sell.

We drove the 15 minutes or so to a nearby organic berry farm and headed into the fields. None of us wilted as we picked, and everyone harvested more than they had in years before. (You could argue that half of them now eat more than they did in years past, but let me have my fantasy for a moment first.)

We drove home dreaming of smoothies and ice cream, shortcake and jam, and all of the other treats we will make with this glorious haul of berries. Mostly, though, I reflected on how thankful I am to live in a community where organic veggies and fruits are normal. Where we are normal. Honestly, it was what drew us here in the first place over a decade ago, and it's what has kept us here to raise our kids.

With that, I have an unreasonable tower of strawberry flats on my table that request my attention. It's time to fill the freezer!

Need a recipe? Here's my honey-sweetened strawberry jam. It's our go-to.

A postscript for local friends – I can't say enough good things about Mary's Berries. Great easy picking and glorious flavorful berries. Hop to it! 

3 thoughts on “You-pick organic berries

  1. says:

    We live in the area, so we will try out Mary’s Berries in the future!
    In the meantime, here is another Pectin free/Sugar free recipe to try. And its a great way to add Chia Seeds for the extra Omega.

    Refrigerator Chia Jam (that freezes well!)
    – 2 cups fruit (any berry)
    – 3 TBSP raw honey (to your taste) or use stevia
    – 2-3 TBSP chia seeds (2 for looser set, 3 for thicker set)
    – several pinches Himalayan salt
    Add all ingredients to a blender and process to desired texture (chunky or smoother), spoon into your jars with a tight-fitting lid, and refrigerate. The chia seeds will gel and thickening the fruit puree. I have read this will last for 10 days to 2 weeks refrigerated! You can also freeze chia jam if there is enough headroom in the jar for expansion.

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