I'm not sure why, but all things berry, summer, produce, flower, and farmers market-related make me inexplicably happy. Like a giddy, elated, smile-plastered-on-my-face kind of happy. Living in Oregon, where berries are abundant, I feel especially lucky to have local, freshly picked berries available at all times during the summer.
There's something extra special about picking my own berries. 2 summers ago, we picked 20 pounds of blueberries, and last summer, cherries. This time around, I'm on a mission to explore a variety of local farms and pick my way through the strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry phases of summer.
We started today at Thistledown Farms (contact info here). In addition to having "u-pick" strawberries for $1.50/pound, they have an extensive farm stand with all kinds of fresh produce, baked goods, and garden accessories. Also on their grounds is a large nursery with every kind of plant and decorative hanging basket imaginable, and a covered bridge over a ravine where their chickens, goats, and ponies hang out. It's my very own fantasy land!
Picking strawberries isn't nearly as fun or glamorous as picking most other berries, given the low-to-the-ground factor. I'm still glad we went, and I loved toting my camera around as we explored the farm.
Strawberry fields forever (sorry, I couldn't resist):
I loved these little white flowers growing in the berry patch:
My favorite shot (look closely to see flying strawberries):
Signs of a successful berry-picking mission:
Blueberries on deck:
I just bought a strawberry huller, so after I figure out how it works (doesn't look like brain surgery), my grand plans for our harvest are: freeze half, keep a quarter for snacking, and use a quarter for baking. I also bought a few stalks of rhubarb, so I'm excited to see what materializes! Suggestions are always welcome.