Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Picking Mutant Alien Strawberries

Our family has a tradition of going strawberry picking every summer. Well, except for last summer because it was so hot and dry that there were virtually no strawberries to be picked. And except for the summer before that because I didn't get around to it in time. But we have definitely picked strawberries before -- maybe in the summer of 2010? -- and so I am calling it a tradition, BY GOLLY.

When they are all grown up, the kids will say to each other, "Remember how we had a tradition of going strawberry picking every year, and occasionally we even went strawberry picking?" Like maybe one year out of four?" And they will sigh happily, remembering an idyllic summer tradition that we rarely followed through on. Fortunately for them, you don't have to actually do something to have a tradition of doing it.

This year, the universe conspired against us by sending a bad spring for strawberries, but we managed to find a place to go and pick them anyway:

Stella is wearing pants even though it looks like she isn't.
I always have a sneaking suspicion that the owners of U-Pick farms are secretly laughing at us for being chumps for paying inflated prices to pick produce. Do you think they jack up the price to the effect that we are paying the owners for the privilege of picking strawberries?  And what kind of message am I sending to my kids about how much fun it is to work in the farm fields? Lots of love to our migrant farm workers -- god knows we couldn't put food on the table without them -- but I don't want my kids growing up to be one of them, you know?

Baby W earns $7 a day, working in the fields

Even better than picking strawberries was feeding the pig. Here is Stella feeding the pig some slightly damaged strawberries we found. The pig was a little reluctant to eat the berries, which amazed me, because c'mon, pig! These are fresh-picked strawberries here! This is the best offer you are going to get for a long time, possibly your whole life! What, are you first waiting for us to put out the white tablecloth and the good napkins?

The actual strawberries themselves were a weirdly shaped. They looked a little mutant, actually. It was like multiple strawberries had fused themselves together into one giant strawberry. The berries reminded me of those frogs that live in polluted water and then grow extra legs.

The strawberries tasted a lot better than deformed frogs, though. At least I think they did based on my best guess of what deformed frogs taste like.

So another year of strawberry picking has come and gone! We are munching strawberries like crazy, and I'm already looking to the next time we go berry picking. Since this is an every-year tradition, I'm figuring we'll next go in about 2017.

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