Monday, May 25, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever


Strawberries picked this morning by me and Betty.

It's strawberry season here, and several of our local farms have started opening the fields for pick-your-own. Betty and I went blackberry picking last year for the first time and she talked about the experience all through the cold, dreary winter. So when I mentioned to both kids that a nearby farm was opening this weekend for strawberry-picking, Betty was more than ready. (Boo and The Dean were less than enthused.)

This morning dawned cloudy and overcast, and I broke the news to her that we wouldn't be going after all. (Neither of my kids deal with these kind of change in plans well and because we've learned that such changes result in tantrums extraordinaire, The Dean and I tend to employ the adage, "It'll be a game time decision," in our parenting efforts.) I appeased Betty by saying that we would get some strawberries at the supermarket.

But apparently the black cloud was just over our house, because as we headed to the supermarket, the skies filled with glorious sunshine. I called The Dean to say we would be going strawberry picking after all, and so we did.

At 9:30 a.m., there were already about two dozen of us in the fields, filling buckets with the first strawberries of the season, ripening in the humid sun. I thought about how lucky we are, to live in an area surrounded by working farms, where open space is still a reality. I love knowing that there are two strawberry patches within a 10 minute drive of our house. It sounds cliche, but there really is something special about knowing where your food comes from. I love that the strawberries we will have in a pie this evening (or just with whipped cream) were picked this morning just a few miles from here. Can't get more local than that.

We also got some local asparagus at the farm today and bright yellow lemons and red potatoes. This on top of a visit to another farm market yesterday where we bought zucchini, squash, broccoli, corn on the cob, cucumbers, carrots, and a huge seedless watermelon.

I complain about my lengthy commute to work, I know, but there's something about living here that's starting to grow on me.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find some recipes worthy of these local treasures ....