Rainy Day at the Strawberry Patch: Foody Friday

Foody Friday

A couple years ago we went blueberry picking with the kids. Ninja Boy was just three, My Princess was one, and Miss Tickles was still cooking. My Princess ate her weight in blueberries, ripe or green! We joke that they have to weigh the kids before picking so they can charge us for the ones they ate. After that outing, we talked and planned for going again the next year. Sadly, we missed picking altogether last year because the season started so early and ended quickly because of the weather.

We are determined to make it happen this year. We keep watch on the Blueberry farm’s facebook page to see when the blueberries become ripe and picking season can begin.

Meanwhile, while we wait for blueberries, we discovered that a strawberry farm is only an hour and fifteen minutes away from where we live.

We loaded up the kids and took the trip up to Boz’s Berry Farm. The kids each got their own basket to put their picked berries in (though the berries didn’t stay in them very long before being taste-tested).

Grandma showing how to pick strawberries

Grandma showing how to pick strawberries

As we headed out to the field, it started to sprinkle. A little rain wasn’t going to deter us from our mission. We decided that it would surely pass over us quickly.

Girls picking berries

I found one!

picking strawberries

Look how big this one is Grandma!

Before leaving to pick strawberries, Ninja Boy was complaining that he didn’t want to go because he doesn’t like strawberries. I convinced him that it didn’t matter. He could at least help us pick them.

Girls taste testingAfter the girls had their share of taste-testing, Ninja Boy decided he would try one.Ninja Boy tasting strawberry

He LOVED it! There is something about picking fruit fresh off the plant that makes it taste that much better! He had never had strawberries this fresh. No pesticides, no ripening agents. Just fresh, juicy, fully ripe strawberries.

Ninja Boy picking berries

He got serious about picking after that!

We heard stories from the workers about tiny frogs eating the bugs and hungry turtles chomping on berries in the middle of the field. We kept our eyes open and spotted one of the tiny frogs. They help eat the bugs that hang out around the plants.Tiny frog in strawberry patch

Miss Tickles eating strawberries

Pretty sure Miss Tickles should have been weighed before picking!

Suddenly, the rain picked up and pelted us with huge drops! My Princess started getting cold, so we headed up to the shack to get our strawberries weighed. The kids stood waiting for Grandma, who wasn’t letting the rain bother her. With so many berries left to be picked she just started singing in the rain and kept on picking.

Kids in rain

Ninja Boy was concerned and made her come back.Grandma in Rain

We picked almost 20 lbs between all of us and bought 20 more lbs of pre-picked berries for a little extra fee.Strawberries

Since they were so fresh, they needed to be eaten or processed quickly, so mom prepped them to freeze.

First step is washing the berries. Don’t want to soak them in water. Just use a colander and spray them with water.Washing strawberries

Remove the leaf caps and any bruised spots. Separate out the berries that are too ripe and use them soon, because they won’t freeze well.

Strawberry leaf caps

It felt like the strawberries multiplied once I start processing them!

After rinsing and taking off the caps, let the berries dry a bit on paper towels.

Berries drying

Lay a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet and place the berries pointed side up on the paper, not letting the berries touch each other. Place in freezer. Strawberries freezingAfter the berries are frozen solid, quickly place them in freezer bags. By freezing them solid before putting into bags, the berries stay separated and you can pull out a few at a time as needed.Frozen berries

Frozen strawberries are great in smoothies or cooked to make a strawberry syrup.

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